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Mount Creative Writers

A family full of seeds

Alexandra Tyminski
MSM Class of 2015

(4/2013) Changes. Changes are uncomfortable. They have never been my favorite. Today especially reminded me of how much I disliked them. After my fatherís funeral, I hopped into my silver Honda and drove by our old house. I hadnít been home since I started my new job in Colorado. As I finally made the sharp left turn, I noticed the street sign still remained crooked and a "g" must have recently fallen off our street name "Wollongong." My dad used to call our family the "Wollongang" in an attempt to be clever.

When I arrived at the curb of the old house, I instantly noticed how everything was the way we left it six years ago. The small pond still filled about halfway, the bamboo forest drifted off in the distance behind the house, and the pale green shutters laid perfectly next to the windows.

I would often come here in times of despair or confusion, but this time, I came in simple peace. I carried myself along with my brown shoulder bag across the street and sat on the green hill overlooking the house. The spring air fell on my freckled skin, and chills ran up the back of my spine. The day was quieter than ever, and I observed the massive land around the property I once called home. The more I looked around, the more I treasured the place. I reached for the black leather-bound journal from my bag. Lying down, I opened the journal to the first page and began to re-read my past.

Journal Entry: 4/29/97 Fun times with my daddy

"Daddy! Letís plant the tree by the little pond in our backyard," I said.

"Sweetie, how do you feel about planting the tree in between the pond and the vegetable garden?" he asked.

"Okay, I guess thatís nice!" I said in excitement.

We headed over to the place my daddy pointed out for our little tree. He always enjoyed playing outside like me, so I figured he knew what he was doing.

"Daddy, why are we planting this tree?"

"Well, little Rosie, we are planting this tree because today is Arbor Day. I was going to wait until we planted it to tell you why we were planting a tree today!" he answered.

"Whatís Arbor Day?"

"Arbor Day is a tree holiday," he said as he looked at me with a funny smile.

"Trees get holidays, too? Where do they go for vacation?" I asked with a bit of confusion in my voice.

He laughed and said, "No, no darling. Arbor Day is when people are encouraged to plant and care for trees!"

"Ohhh, well that is kind of funny. Why arenít the neighbors planting trees early this morning then?"

"Well, we just got an early start in taking care of our tree! Iím sure they will plant one later today," he assured me.

We dug up a BIG hole and my daddy was digging very fast. He is verrrry strong and the sun was shining down on him.

"All right champ, throw the seeds in the ground and letís put the dirt over it," Daddy said.

I carefully placed the seeds in the ground and handed the shovel to my father. He patched up the hole in the ground, and I stood there in my yellow t-shirt and blue jeans.

"How long do you think this tree will be here for, Rosie?"

"I thinkÖIÖwell Iím not sure, but probably forever," I said.

"Ha! Yes, Rosie. It will be here forever. When the tree grows at first, it wonít be big enough for you to sit under, but when it becomes extremely large, you can sit underneath its leaves and shade," Daddy told me.

Journal Entry 8/14/97

Daddy and I watered the tree again today. It has grown a little bit since the first seedlings were planted. It makes me sad that the tree hasnít grown much. I keep trying to convince Daddy that maybe the seeds are sick. He tells me thatís not true at all. Iím not sure though.

Journal Entry 4/29/02

"Dad! Can you believe how fast the tree has grown in the 5 years since we planted it?" We both stood around the tree examining it.

"In five more years it will be extremely big, and I promise it will give us shelter from all this sun, Rosie!" Dad said, glancing over at me with his big white smile.

Journal Entry 10/15/07

Today was the first day of high school, and it was scary. I didnít want to go, but I made it. And, I even made a friend. Her name is Darcy, and sheís the most energetic person Iíve ever met. I hope we stay friends for a long time. She was only a freshman in high school too, but she had so much confidence. I spotted her red curls from numerous lockers down the hallway. After some conversation with my new friend at the end of the day, I scratched up some confidence and asked her to come to my house tomorrow. I donít know how itís going to go or if I sounded creepy or desperate for friends. Did I sound desperate? Oh no, good going Rosie. She will probably not show up, or worse, tell people not to be my friend. I guess we will see what happens. I will have to update my journal about it tomorrow. Until thenÖ -Rosie

Ö

After this entry, I placed the journal down by my side. I stared up into the blue sky and felt extremely lost. The time period jumped about 5 years, and my handwriting had gotten better and I had stopped writing about that tree. I shrugged my shoulders and began to read again.

 

 

Journal Entry 10/16/07

"And this is where I like to sit after school and do my homework when it is nice outside," I said, pointing to the tree that my dad and I planted about 10 years ago.

"Wow that is so nice! I really like it a lot. I wish I had a big yard where I could plant trees like that," Darcy said.

I explained to her that my dad and I planted the tree on Arbor Day. I watched her face as her smile went from ear to ear looking up toward the tree that towered above us. I wonder if she noticed me catching her facial expression.

"Itís just that itís so pretty here. Would you mind if I came over sometime and hung out with you here?" she asked.

"Not at all! I only ever sit here alone. My dad used to come outside more with me but ever since he got a new job, he has been so busy. He hasnít had much time to enjoy it the way I do. I would love for someone else to join me!"

Overall, I would say today was a successful day. Darcy and I agreed that every Friday after school, we would hang out by "the tree."

Journal Entry 4/29/11

Arbor Day. The last one Darcy and I will ever share together. We are graduating high school in May, and who knows what breaks we will have while we are in college. We stood there today, appreciating the tree. Darcy and I wrote out all of our favorite memories from high school and put them under the tree. We dug up a spot and gently placed our memory box there. Darcy just left, and now Iím currently sitting under the tree. My dad just came up to me and he noticed the sadness in my eyes.

"My little Rosie, donít be too sad. College is an exciting adventure! I know you will miss this spot while you are away, but it will always be here for you when you return," he said.

"Yeah I know. I guess the tree has just been another memory for me and now things are about to change," I said, staring at the ground.

"Rosie, you can learn from this tree. Fourteen years ago when we planted this tree, I knew you would then too."

"Learn what, Dad?"

"Learn how to grow. Trees grow because that is what they are supposed to do. You also grow because we are supposed to grow in order to become better people. Changes are uncomfortable so that we might grow and learn from them. Do you think the tree was comfortable when it had no leaves and was left in the cold winter?"

He left after that and went back inside to make dinner. I sit here now thinking about what he said. This tree has taught me more than I realized.

Ö

I closed my journal and took a deep breath. I had forgotten about the tree for a long time. College was a change. When we moved houses my junior year, it was harder and harder to come back to the tree. It slowly trickled away. I sat up and scanned across the field to find the tree. Indeed, it was still standing strong. On my way to the tree, I went to my car and took a small jar from another purse in the trunk. I walked over to the tree and sat underneath it. It didnít look like the current family was home, so I decided it was ok to go. I eased myself to the ground and my perspective was instantly changed. I felt the peace of the tree, the breeze of the spring day, and the voice of my father calming me down.

I looked down at my feet, and I noticed a red object sticking up out of the ground. I reached to touch it, thinking it was nothing but a piece of trash, but I looked harder and saw it was not. I ferociously dug with my hands in the dirt. I got to the bottom of a red box deeply wedged in the ground. My heart started to beat really fast, and I opened the box. It was the memory box Darcy and I had buried many years ago. In the box were letters from my first boyfriend that I wanted to treasure, a journal entry about how I felt about moving, some old photos, and the memory list we made. Something inside of me began to get excited. It was that feeling every child gets when experiencing something for the first time. I noticed an envelope at the bottom of the box with my name on it. I didnít know why I would place something like that for myself in a memory box. I reached for the envelope. It wasnít very heavy, and the edges were a little wrinkled. I pulled out the note and out fell a packet of seeds with it. The note read:

To my little Rosie, in hopes that you will one day find your roots here again. I placed a packet of your very own seeds for your own family one day.

With much love always,

Daddy

Read other articles by Alexandra Tyminski