A story by Anikira Solstice, read at the Family Gathering on April 7th 2019
Henri was staying with his Grandma Margerie in her cottage for the Easter holidays as he really was in awe of her garden and wanted to help her make it look good again. He wondered about the old shed at the bottom of the garden.
'No one’s been in there for years. I haven't been able to go in there because it makes me feel sad and it’s overgrown with ivy', said Margerie.
‘Why’, asked Henri.
‘Well, it reminds me of you Grandpa and it was his shed. He used to love planting up seeds in the garden from there, and that magnolia tree was once a seed he planted.’
‘It's beautiful, with all its white blooms, and has a lovely fragrance', said Henri. Can I explore the shed?' asked Henri.
‘Go for it if you can! I'll make you your favourite sandwiches and a cup of tea!' said Grandma that day, and it was a very sunny day, Henri went to see about the shed. He put on his gloves and pulled away the ivy from the door. The door creaked as he opened it, and inside he found there were many cobwebs. 'Sorry spiders!’ as he took Grandma's feather duster and gently shook them outside, ‘I've got to clean this for Grandma!' he said.
When the cobwebs were all gone, he saw some seeds. Well, the sell-by date was 80 years out! They were King Tut sweet peas. The potting bench was just as grandpa left it. An old Victorian hoe was in the corner, terracotta pots neatly stacked up and an old watering can waiting for Henri. He asked Grandma if he could have a go at sprouting them. She was delighted but sceptical that anything would come from it. She told him to fill a mason jar of spring water from across the road. This he did, and popped the old seeds into the solution. There they sat for a few days on Grandma's window sill.
'I don't expect they'll do anything', said Grandma.
'But you never know Grandma’, said Henri, ‘I've seen a documentary about a 2000 year old date seed that sprouted to life in Jerusalem!’
Granny realised she was handing down precious knowledge by letting Henri do the garden, they were learning so much by being hands-on in nature and it was helping Margerie to heal and come to terms with Grandpa no longer being there. She said to Henri, that she was feeling Grandpa's presence, guiding him through the garden.
'Funny you should say that, I felt a very loving joyful presence when I popped the seeds in the jar', said Henri!
And then, a robin landed on the wheelbarrow! Henri went to the shed again and found an old tarnished saxophone under the bench! He asked if Grandma had anything to clean it with and then buffed and polished it before giving it a quick blow! He got the hang of it quite quickly and played to the seeds, got rid of the weeds, mowed the lawn, and made a bonfire out of the dead wood around the garden. He'd indeed found his own divine spark!
The seeds were put in a seed tray with soil from Grandma's compost heap, and left in the old shed, watered every day with the old watering can, and they waited for them to sprout.
'I don't think they're coming up', said Grandma.
Well the next day a shoot was spotted in the seed tray by Henri!
'One is coming up, look Grandma!' said Henri.
'That's a miracle', said Grandma, ‘It just shows that a little bit of love and faith is all you need!’
That summer they trained it up a trellis and beautiful blue flowers grew, attracting the insects and bees. That year they kept the seeds for the next time!
'Next time, we won't leave it so long', said Grandma laughing!
One seed had slept all that time just for Henri to come and wake it up. Grandma was so happy and Henri's Mum and Dad were happy too. It was as if he'd broken a spell, changed sadness into happiness, filling their hearts with joy, peace and love. Grandma started using the shed to plant new seeds as her faith in her own ability to help life grow into something beautiful was fully restored, while Henri learned some jazzy pieces on his new old saxophone!
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