I found the baby-food jar in a drawer
at my grandma’s house. “What’s this?” I asked.
“It was my mother’s,” said Grandma. “She liked
to collect seeds.” “Seeds? Flower seeds?” “No, not
all, just different kinds of seeds.” She took the
jar and turned it from side to side. It was
true; there were hundreds of seeds of different
sizes, shapes, colors. “What would happen if
I plant them? “Oh, they’re probably too old
to take root.” I saw she was reluctant
to part with the seeds. But she looked at my
eager face and smiled, handing me the jar.
“Oh well. I don’t know. Let’s give it a try.”
So that spring I planted all of the seeds.
The tiny ones I planted shallowly,
and the larger ones I planted deeper.
And Grandma was right, most of them didn’t
grow. I fretted and worried over too
much sun or rain. I lay on the grass next
to them, hoping, most every day. Until
one morning, I saw the first tentative
sprout wave a fine finger above the earth.
I dashed inside, yelling, jubilant. “Come
see! Come see!” Grandma came, but she shook her
head. “That looks like a weed to me.” she said.
“But if it was in the jar, it might be
something nice!” So we waited. I learned to
identify the different plants by their
leaves at first, and then, as the flowers bloomed,
we learned if we were right or wrong. Some of
the plants weren’t flowers at all. There were
some herbs, thyme and rosemary and basil.
There were two trees, one lemon and one
apple. There was cantaloupe, blackberry,
strawberry and tomato. And it was
all randomly planted, grown together.
Summer’s end found us collecting the seeds
so we could plant them again next year. I
was surprised to see a tear in Grandma’s eye.
“My mother would have just loved this,” she said.
Written for Quickly‘s prompt.