Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Minute(s) (as in time) (03/03/11)
- TITLE: A Garden of Minutes
By Cheryl von Drehle
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The gardener thoughtfully chooses the perfect seeds for her garden: some seeds to produce a brilliant array of flowers around the circumference, these solely for their color and beauty, those for the particular work of repelling the deer and insects so intent on ravaging her garden; and other seeds for the inner rows planned judiciously and laid symmetrically to produce food for her table, these for nutritious vegetables to sustain life, those for delicious fruits to bring comfort and joy.
The wind uncaringly scatters noxious seeds throughout her garden; birds drop foreign seeds among her flowers, while other seeds fall from between chipmunk toes as they scamper through the carefully laid rows. Some of these unplanned seeds sprout into dull gray-green weeds to overpower the glorious colors of her petunias, some sticky and juicy to attract the very vermin she hopes to repel, but others produce their own delight…lacey flowers, wild carrots, beguiling mushrooms that could nourish or kill.
So are minutes the seeds of her lifetime. In a mysterious unidentified minute a seed is planted to begin her life. Months later comes a distinguishing minute in which there is no breath, then suddenly in that same minute bursts forth the first breath of life. And so the minutes grow into days, months, years, a lifetime.
Some minutes are carefully planned, yielding expected results: a well planned minute for a last touch-up when heading out the door; the minute it takes to pledge “I do,” which gives birth to a new family. Other minutes spring forth unbidden, unwelcome: the screech of brakes that come a minute too late, the unseen germ that might have passed her by if she walked into the store one minute later. And yet still other unplanned minutes bring forth serendipitous joy: the minute it took to hike around that one last bend, yielding a vista of sun drenched flowers; the minute the plane was delayed, allowing last minute breathless boarding to take her to her dying mother’s bedside.
And then, that last minute, so ironically mirroring the first: one minute breath is there, and that same minute, it is no longer; sweeping her into a place where there are no longer minutes, but eternity.
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