Writers Write

Taking Root

It started with pansies. Cherry couldn’t part with the pansies and ornamental kale we planted in the window boxes in March. Leggy and wilting, it was time to make way for summer flowers. Plants are disposable, but tell that to an eight year old. We moved the pansies to the vegetable garden. They’re still blooming. A few days later, I moved the Gerbera daisies from their container to a spot next to the parsley. Short on sun in a pot that didn’t drain, they looked like goners. So, I performed the second rescue mission. This morning, I moved the butterfly plant to the sunny perennial bed. Squeezed by the sweet potato vine, it was starting to look more like a stick than a flower.

Nothing stays the same in my backyard. It’s a proving ground, a safe place to experiment where the smallest adjustment makes the biggest impact. Working forces me to make decisions. Move it or lose it.  Do I rescue the pansies or throw them away?  Unless I’m pretending to be Moses, nothing is written in stone.

The very act of creation involves choice. Will I paint the sky cerulean or smoky green? Will I write this character living at home or will she move to her own place? When I act, will I scream in anger or will I be cold and calculating?  Artists learn to make decisions.

It’s hard to throw away an idea once it takes root.

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