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My First Plant (A Response to the Grow Write Guild's First Writing Prompt)

Grow Write Guild

For almost 2 weeks now -- ever since I read Gayla's writing prompt -- I'd been wanting to respond to it. But I had my doubts, and still do. Am I recalling the distant memory of my first plant? Or am I remembering a childhood dream? Most of the details -- except colour, location & the identity of the person kneeling beside me -- are vague and dream-like. Yet, I've replayed the scene in my mind many times over the years and can't shake it (much like an earworm). And since the second writing prompt is coming tomorrow, I'll stop procrastinating and tell my very short story now.

Yellow flowers in an old, white-painted tractor tire next to the garage: these were my first plants. I think I was about 4 or 5 years old. The memory (or dream) has a definite pre-school feeling to it. I was proud to be allowed to help Mom with a grown-up task. We carefully placed the flowers with the cheerful faces in the holes we had created with our trowels, then firmed soil over the roots. "Pansies," Mom said in response to my question.

After that mother-daughter gardening session, I don't recall helping with daily watering or weeding so those particular pansies may have been under my care only momentarily. But other versions of them as well as violas have been regularly appearing in gardens I've tended over the years.

When I inherited my community plot in Spring 2011, it was badly overgrown and tangled with weeds and neglected plants. I removed everything, except these yellow pansies, which cheerfully welcomed me to my new garden home and connected me with my first (remembered) plant.

After typing the final period and now just before hitting publish, I will say again I don't know if this is memory or dream...but perhaps it doesn't matter.

Reader Comments (4)

Elaine, I enjoyed your post and your blog. You have some great photos, hope to get a closer look later. Valerie

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterValerie

This is so reminiscent of the memories I wrote about in my response to this prompt! I too wrote about planting with my mother - violas in my case: http://whenitsathome.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/choose-your-own-adventure/

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSiobhan Curious

Early memories sometimes feel dream-like. As a reader, the story seems very real.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGayla

Thank you, Valerie, Siobhan and Gayla for reading and commenting on my post. I enjoyed reading your responses to this prompt, too.

Gayla, thank you so much for creating the Guild and inspiring me to reminisce and daydream, as well as interact with fellow gardeners-writers.

April 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterElaine

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