Every day is a holiday. Look up what today’s holiday is and write a story or poem about it.
I looked up what holiday there is on May 16th of 2022. It turns out that it is Love a Tree Day. I needn’t look any further at the other holidays that also fall on this day because I absolutely love trees anyways. It’s actually written in my baby book that I would stare out the window and sway along with the trees. That connection has never been severed.
While walking home from school one day, Geremy had stuffed a handful of helicopters from his neighbor’s maple tree into his jacket pockets. He figured he’d take them home and play with them in his own backyard after he finished his homework. He hadn’t counted on the rainstorm that blew in. He’d stuffed those helicopters in the back of his desk drawer and forgotten all about them.
Months later, he came across them while cleaning his room. They’d dried out and crumbled at his touch. He brushed the papery remnants to the floor for the vacuum to pick up. He set the seeds on the corner of his desk. His mom had said he could go outside just as soon as his room was cleaned.
He did a really good job. He even vacuumed the corners and dusted all the furniture. After he finished making his bed he looked around proudly. His eyes landed on the helicopter seeds, and he hurried to stuff them back in the drawer so his mom wouldn’t make him throw them out.
“Mom!” he shouted down the hallway. “I’m done!”
“Are you for real done?” she asked from the living room. “Or am I going to get all the way down there just to be disappointed?”
“For really real, I’m done. I put my stuff away and vacuumed and dusted and even made my bed,” he assured her as he appeared in the living room.
“Alright, alright,” she sighed as she shoved herself off of the old, sagging couch.
“Wow!” she’d told him. “I’m real proud of you.”
She’d tousled his hair.
“So can I go outside now?” he turned pleading eyes on her.
“Go on,” she swatted playfully at his backside.
He grabbed a stack of red solo cups from the kitchen. His muddy play shoes were near the door from the last time he’d tromped around in the backyard.
He let the screen door slam behind him as he ran into the cool evening. The ground squished beneath his feet. He ran for the old gardening shed near the back of the yard.
The door creaked and groaned as he pulled it open. It was dark and smelly inside. He hoped the shovels weren’t hard to find.
He felt around in the dark until he found the small counter space against the wall. His left hand found the handle of the trowel. He closed his fingers around it and snatched it off the counter.
Back outside, he gulped in lungsful of air and coughed a few times. He spat out the dust and grime he’d inhaled while inside the shed.
He filled two of his solo cups with water. He carried them to the garden and dumped them into a bare area. Using the shovel, he mixed up the dirt and water into moist soil. He filled all five of the cups he’d grabbed with the moistened dirt.
Grabbing two with each hand, he held them by the rims and carefully carried his cups to the house. He set them down on the cement outside the back door and opened it wide. With his butt set to catch the door, he leaned down and picked up his cups of dirt.
“Geremy,” his mother shouted.
“Yeah?” he hoped she didn’t come into the kitchen.
He set his cups down inside the door and removed his shoes.
“Don’t you be tracking mud n dirt through my house,” she warned.
“I won’t, Mama,” he promised as he grabbed his cups.
Back in his bedroom, he settled the cups onto his desk under the window. The sun wasn’t coming in right now, but the desk was always lit up in the afternoons. Finding the seeds in the drawer, he pushed one into each of his cups.
“Time to grow into big strong trees,” he told them as he smoothed the dirt back over the top.
He was dutiful in their care. He kept the soil moist and made sure that they had good sunlight. He asked his teacher questions and looked at books in the school library.
Only two of his seeds sprouted. He nurtured and loved those little sprouts until they got too big for the cups he’d planted them in. He carried them out to the backyard and found a place for each of them.
He planted one in the dirt just far enough away from the shed that he wasn’t worried the roots would bump into the small building. He found a spot for the other near the garden where he’d gotten the dirt to plant them in.
His trees grew taller while he grew older year after year. By the time he graduated from high school, the trees had grown tall enough to provide a shady place to relax in the backyard. His parents used to ponder where the trees came from. Maybe one day he’d tell them the truth about the trees he’d raised as his own.
Love Sick: Stories is out now
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