When It Rains

I turn towards the sky, feeling the wind playing in my branches. My leaves turn up and I eat the sun’s warmth and nutrients. My roots dig deep, seeking water, they whisper to my neighbors: She is here. My neighbors echoed the comforting sentiment. It is another day.

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I remember my first day. I poked out of the dark soil. Curious. Tentative. Before that day, I had only known darkness. Only known the tightness of the seed and then the release of energy that came after. Expanding in every direction seeking something unknown. Seeking light without knowing what light was.

“Look, Arty, they’re growing!” she said excitedly. I felt the earth shake and tremble as the voice came closer. A shadow fell over me. I trembled. I didn’t know yet not to be scared of her. I didn’t know she would treat me well. I only knew this was new. She was new. Everything was new.

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Hands brushed away the soil clinging to my questing shoots, exposing them more to the sun.  The sun tasted delicious. She tended the others the same as me. I wasn’t the only one in the tiny garden, but my roots were too shallow yet to reach. Meeting them would have to wait.

Every day she came, I could feel her footsteps nearby. We learned anticipation. Waiting for our time with her. She would water us if we were thirsty. The soil beneath us would turn dark our roots would soak up the the nutrients until our leaves were plump and green.

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We blossomed for her and bore fruit. She would bend close and make sure no one crowded us too close and we all had enough room to grow. And when the tiny biting insects came, she brushed them off and kept them away by keeping us strong.

chana-pred

Under her care we grew fast. We grew strong. I grew until my bark tingled with energy, my branched felt tight, and my roots curled with anticipation. I didn’t understand this new sensation. I felt like I was sparking in the sun. Every fiber was tense, expectant.

The others felt the same. But she moved between us kneeling close. I waited for my turn.

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Then she came to me as leaned close and whispered into the air – “Happy birthday” – and all the energy was released around me. Swirling up from my roots and sparkling through my leaves. She laughed as the sparkles ticked. This was evolving. Growing without getting bigger. I learned joy.

By the time she brought her son to meet us, our roots were deep and connected. We whispered to each other. Something’s different. Those on the edge sent. I was taller than most and was the first to meet him. He reached up and laughed as the sunlight shone through my leaves.

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He came many times after that. She would tell him about us, about our needs, about our likes and dislikes. When he was old enough he would sometimes help her tend us. We watched him grow and play nearby. He was careful never to crush us underfoot.

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Among all the changes there was always one constant. She is our constant. Tending us daily no matter how many of us there were or what we needed. Those of us who had been here since the beginning would tell the others about her when they first came. Wait, she is coming. We would tell them when they grew thirsty or the tiny bugs bit. It’ll be okay. We would tell them when they felt too crowded. She’ll take care of you.

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Yesterday though, out roots were silent. Today is the first day she will not be coming. The boy who had grown up explained it to us. He explained that she wasn’t coming anymore. That he would continue to care for us. That it would be okay.

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He explained that she was underground, deep below. The ground trembled beneath us as we heard the news, our roots strained, seeking. She is here. Roots echoed the message. We all relaxed.

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Yesterday we learned sorrow.

32 comments

  1. Oooh, so beautiful! I love the fact that this is from the plant’s point of view. An unconventional narrator is always nice and I could really get the feel of being a plant through the narration. And I think being a plant at least occasionally would be awesome so thank you for that! And the sad ending was just perfect! I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s excellent to hear. Plants have a very different existence than us mammal-types, so I was glad I could capture some of that. Oooh – I’m glad you liked the ending. I wasn’t sure if sorrow was the right way to end, but I couldn’t end it any other way.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love it! Chana is my role-model. If I knew this old form would go back to the earth in a garden–or under an oak–I’d leave it peacefully and joyfully! And you know, trees and their communities really do communicate through their roots and rhizomes, as well as through emitting chemicals in the air! That’s why, sometimes, when you walk through healthy, blooming gardens, you feel a buzz and a bit of happiness! It’s their songs! 🙂 Such a beautiful story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup! I watched a video on mother trees?, I think they were called, a while back. So I knew I wanted them talking to each other as only plants would.

      Glad you enjoyed it and I’m glad I could show a side if Chana I watched a lot, but didn’t get to write nearly enough.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I wish I gardened. But I rent and I know I’m not yet in a place where I would want to care for a garden, but my mom always has awesome gardens and I miss being able to help out with them.

      I’m glad this story felt right to all you gardeners! And don’t worry, Sam will take good care of them even though he sometimes has to call a gardener to help out. It is a very big garden now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I adored this, this was such a creative idea! I never thought I could feel so much compassion for a plant – you’re such a good writer! And of course, it as a delight to see Chana and Arturo again ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was happy to be able to use Arturo and Chana! Even as background characters. And I’m happy to hear you felt for my plant character! It is an unusual narrator.

      Like

  4. This was absolutely breathtaking. I loved it – the unique perspective of the plants and the emotions. I thought about writing my submission this month from the perspective of a plant or tree and I’m glad I didn’t because I couldn’t have done it justice. You definitely did. I laughed when she brought her son and I wanted to cry when she died. The pictures were expressive and beautiful. I want to read it again and again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh – thanks for the compliments! I just had this nugget of watching life from a plants perspective grow around them and with them. I hand’t realized how popular this particular theme was going to be!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent job! I loved how the plant wanted to “talk” to the others, but their roots just weren’t long enough to do so yet. lol Sad ending, but at least she’s with her garden, her family that loves her.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok so obviously I binged on the Huffmans today so Chana (and Arty for that matter)’s death is still very fresh for me.

    I loved that her garden loved her as much as she loved them. I loved that they reached out to her knowing she would care for them and provide for their needs and the plants all felt as if they were part of her family too.

    I actually cried, not just a tear or two but actually very close to ugly cry near the end when Sam explained he would take care of them now as Chana was gone. They trust him, but they still reach out for her. I absolutely loved this. Thank you for the incredible feels with this one. Pure artistry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow – thanks for your comment. I loved getting into the plants minds for this one. And I’m glad I pulled it off. Since it was for the ss contest it needed to stand alone from the Huffmans, but what better plants would there be than hers?

      I glad it touched you. (And now I really must keep that garden top notch or betray Chana’s legacy!)

      Liked by 1 person

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