garden

Sleep

The following submission is by Writers in the Grove member Carolyn Bradley for the prompt Sleeping and Dreaming.

With fury the snow came down, slanted sideways like angry eyebrows, shattering its color over icy ground. It covered fence posts and car tops. It dusted fir boughs and bare limbs. It buried children’s tricycles and sandboxes until they were indistinct mounds. It filled empty flower pots and wheelbarrows to overflowing.  Then, with diminished force, it fell straight down, smoothing rough pathways and alleys with a soft frosting of vanilla. The garden tucked the white blanket up around its neck. It still slumbered. Seeds lay dormant. Worms and bugs slept. Bulbs waited. The ground, seemingly lifeless, was perched on the brink of awakening, its alarm clock a warming of the earth and bright morning sunlight. At the signal, the garden would shake off its white blanket and stretch its limbs toward the blue sky. Until then, it slept, breathing in and out and dreaming of soft soil, new grass and the rising of spring.

Good Enough

The following is from our Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, for our prompt-a-month series for July, based upon the prompt “garden.”

Sunflower, close upThe petals radiated out in a burst of sunlight, yellow, softly moving in the breeze. A bee landed on the center, climbing around the pistil and stamens that would soon become the seeds I’d snack on over the winter. They were so good, my mouth watered.

The center pattern of the sunflower is considered by many to be a mathematical marvel. I find it hypnotizing. While many believe it is a helix pattern, I trace the Fibonacci sequence from the center, spiraling out, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…each number a sum of the previous two numbers. From the center, the future seeds curve curves out in two series, each winding in the opposite direction, stretching out to the very petals, each seed aligned with its neighbor, a mosaic found throughout history in the ancient tiled floors of the Byzantines, Romans, Greeks, and Moors. Or so my text books say.

The bee leaps off the flower as the wind tilts the flowery landscape, then returns, a black and yellow fuzzy creature crawling around the spiraling maze.

A thump on the ground next to me draws my attention back to earth. It’s my sister. She tugs on the soft green leaves of the plant. The bee loses its purchase and flies away.

“Whatcha doing?”

“Counting.”

She’s heard this before, and she never asks the obvious next question. She doesn’t care much about the world beyond her nose.

“I’m bored.”

I have no answer for that. It’s a statement that stymies me every time. How could anyone be bored. There is so much to see, so much to do, so much to learn – even the flowers teach us math and pattern. To her, this is an old song. The responsibility of the world is to entertain her, and right now, we are failing her.

A hawk stabs the air with its cry. I lean back to see it circling overhead, lifting on the warm current. A small bird dives out of seemingly nowhere to jab at it, warning the giant predator that it has been seen and it is not wanted. I swap a mosquito buzzing around my ear and wish I could do the same to all the mosquitoes this time of year.

“Let’s do something,” she orders me. I think we are. Clearly, not enough for her. “There must be something for us to do around here.”

A chill runs up my spine. This was a warning sign. Trouble was ahead. A bored Cindy was a danger to all peaceful and good creatures.

Action was required. I stood up, dusting off the dry dirt and leaves from my backside. Without another person in sight, the job to entertain my sister and keep her and all around her from harm became my responsibility.

On my list of chores and things-to-do I found enjoyable were mucking out the barn, pulling weeds, refilling the horse trough, and checking on the chickens. None of these passed Cindy’s criteria for amusement. These were my times, time spent on repetitive tasks so ingrained, I moved through them without thinking, my find free to wander, explore, and revisit books and text books, absorbing and processing the lessons from school and all around me. She found these tasks, in her words, “utterly boring and mundane.” Big words for a little girl in a frilly white and yellow lace dress with sparkling silver shoes, a fashion statement at odds with the farm.

“Want me to push you on the swing?” The rubber spare tire swing hung sadly from the old pully pole on the barn.

“Nah, did that yesterday.”

“You seemed to enjoy it.”

“Yeah, but that was yesterday. It’s boring now.”

“We could go down to the pond and skip rocks.”

“It’s too far.”

“It’s a three minute walk.”

“I said it was too far.” (more…)

The Garden

The following is inspired by our Prompt-a-Month program. The prompt for this past month was “garden.” This deadline for this month’s prompt, “dance,” is July 31, 2016.

This is contributed by our Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer.

Garden Vegetables out of focus.Allie groaned as she rolled over to shut off the alarm. Through her slitted eyes the gray light of early dawn filtered in. “Why did the alarm go off so early?” she wondered. This was too early for a summer morning. Yet there was something about today….

As she stretched and tried to open her eyes more fully, she heard movement in the kitchen; then the back door closed. “Grandmom.” Allie jumped out of bed. Today was the day she was supposed to help Grandmom take her produce to the farmers’ market. The vegetables had been packed last night, but Grandmom wanted to pick the flowers fresh this morning. Hastily pulling her shorts, shirt and sandals on, Allie hurried out to the garden.

Grandmom greeted her with a warm smile. “Good morning. I’m glad you could join me today. Isn’t it a lovely morning!”

Allie wondered how Grandmom could know this was a lovely morning when the day hadn’t even begun yet. Grandmom was always cheerful, which was one of the special things about Grandmom that Allie liked so much. Yawning, she took the scissors Grandmom offered and tried to pay attention to her instructions. Pick the blooms that are just opening, cut the stems at an angle and put them directly into the ready bucket of water. As they worked, Grandmom hummed familiar tunes or told Allie interesting facts about some of the flowers. Occasionally she would remind Allie to cut the stems a bit longer, so people could arrange the flowers as they wanted to, or to leave some of a particular plant for the bees, which were already starting to buzz around the fragrant blossom. (more…)

Prompt-a-Month: Garden

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.This is the first of the prompt-a-month series for our members we’re producing here on our Writers in the Grove site. All the details are in the announcement including a few guidelines.

The prompt for the month of June is:

Garden

Member submissions will be accepted until the deadline of June 31, 2016, and will be published throughout July.

Have fun!

Senses by Susan Schmidlin

April 20, 2015

The earth between my fingers
Dark loam that crumbles at the touch
Warmed by the spring sun
Just moist enough to dampen my knees.

Visitors in the form of potato bugs,
Worms, bees, and slugs
Come and go as I toil
Leaving mere bits of memories in the stillness.

I notice something in the breeze
That distracts me from my work
Makes me pause and I breathe in
As the lilacs begin to sing.

Inspired by the Prompt: Senses.