In unlikely places

I was weeding this morning, pulling invaders while the sun was busy elsewhere.

Thankfully, I no longer have a lawn to tend to, but I have a few areas of perennials, with hosta and brown-eyed Susans and the like.

A small stone wall marks the perimeter of my property; in most cases less than 12 inches high. I don’t think in metric when it comes to linear measurement. Should I apologize for that? Nah.

From a tiny crack in a tight grouping of stones stretched and strained a small plant. I stared at it for quite some time, pondering its existence until Gracie took advantage of my inactivity to encourage some affection.

This particular plant would have had to work hard to establish itself, to work its way from the dark soil beneath the stone to find the light. It was an inhospitable environment to say the least. Unexpected. And, as always, it got me thinking.

One of my wee grandsons is just turning five in a few weeks. His junior kindergarten teacher described him to his parents as someone who tells untruths, a polite way, I suppose, of saying he lies.

It came as an unfavourable judgment. His mother thinks he fibs, a kinder interpretation, but I think he creates.

He doesn’t tell stories to deflect blame or to get others in trouble. He creates a world where he rides his bicycle long distances, up steep hills and down the other side, gathering speed as he goes, no hands at times.

He can’t ride a bike in the real world, not yet.

He has a fluffy black and white cat named Simon living under his bed. The cat has white paws and a white chest and a black nose. He has a hearty purr and he snuggles at night, cuddles on their shared pillow.

There is no cat in his real bedroom, but the cat is as real as real can be to Aiden. And I love it.

I love that his mind creates worlds that lift him out of his own. His imagination is a bit like the tiny plant growing out from the crack in the stone. Unexpected.

I’ve mentioned before the book “Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.”

In this book is a letter from Helen Fagin, a Holocaust survivor, who created a school in a World War II ghetto in Poland, where reading was forbidden by the Nazis and if caught, it meant death or hard labour.

Books were smuggled in and held on to all but briefly to prevent detection. Helen “told” stories she had read, recounting them from memory to her 22 pupils.

As the war continued, only four of the 22 girls survived with whom she had shared the books from memory, but in that barren, cruel space, where humanity was faced with one its darkest hours, stories were shared, stories that took those children from their suffering and delivered them to a world of beauty and kindness.

In the most unlikely and unexpected place a tiny plant grew out from the crack in the stone.

On any given day I can strive to be that tiny plant, to share kindness in an unlikely place. We all can.