I don’t remember how old I was when I realized flowers made you happy. But, I know who helped me understand that the magic of growing flowers was right up there with cookies and milk. My grandma. A vivid memory of pulling up her driveway has stuck with me throughout the years. Her long walkway to the house was covered in thrift. Beautiful, lavender thrift. Of course, each year it multiplied and each year the thrift became more glorious than the last.
When my own grandchildren came along, I shared my love of planting a tiny seed and watching it blossom into a thing of beauty. Their awe and pleasure was more than worth digging in the dirt.
When I think of planting a flower seed, it reminds me of writing. Find the proper spot, cultivate the soil, plant the seed deep enough, cover it with the right amount of soil, water it in, keep it weeded, fertilized and pull the plants that strangle the strongest plant. One strong plant will mature, whereas several in the same area will slow its progress. Once the plant blooms, sometimes we need to cut the first bloom in order for the plant to produce stronger flowers.
Writing is similar to whittling a piece of wood down to a flawless work of art. I used to watch my grandfather whittle and wondered how in the world he had the patience to keep at it for hours at time. He had a plan and worked that plan until the wood became his vision. I certainly shave away at my manuscript more than I’d like, but shavings can be swept up and used elsewhere, if I want.
So here’s to my grandma, for her loving arms and precise teachings in the method of planting, whether it’s seeds or a story.
I’m slicing and dicing “Not My Own” and hope it’s whittled down to a better piece of art than when I first began to write.
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