By Danielle Mitchell
Brown hands. Soft and smooth like the icing on a maple donut. Slow, but steady sure to handle every leaf with care, tearing away any weed that would prevent a young one from growth. She is focused. As she works, I am hypnotized. I watch her and after she finishes each pot, I find myself still seeking more knowledge. She has put on gloves now. The lavender base contrasts well with the flower patterns. The pastels improve my mood. Watching her open the bag of soil, I am filled with a sense of child-like wonder. My mind automatically shifts to digging in the dirt and seeing fingernails messy with mud.
She is anything but messy as she begins to rearrange the dirt. She digs out a spot just the right size with her shovel and lightly places the sprout in the dirt. Carefully, she covers each root and, pats it all in place when she is finished. I think that is my favorite part. For some reason, it is simple and seems important as if the dirt being patted into place secures the plant’s future.
We have been here for about an hour and we have exchanged only a few words. As she removes her gloves and moves to the next pot, I am aware of the silence. It feels natural as if all that needs to be said is being planted along with the sprout. Left in the earth to grow, Grandma’s love blooms at just the right time. A few slices of refreshment when I need it the most.