Fiction exerpt: Watching the Seeds Dance

He was throwing the seeds to the winds and watching them swirl around and fall where they would. He was laughing joyfully at this, seeing how the winds danced with the seeds and the seeds let themselves be danced with. Then his mother came and raised her voice: “Son,” she said sternly, “we are not that rich that you can waste the seeds as you do! You need to learn to put them in the ground so they will grow so we can feed ourselves and feed the village. That is our responsibility! If you don’t learn this, you will never amount to anything and I will have failed as your mother!”
When his father came home for supper, the mother told him: “Your son wasted the seeds again…”
“Son!” The father said, “I am worried about you. You are a headache to your mother and me! You are a dreamer and that won’t get you anywhere… You cannot just live randomly! You need structure and discipline and hard work to make a living! We are farmers! That’s what we are! That’s what you are! So do as your mother says… learn your trade or else you’ll never make a living!”
The little boy went to his room feeling very alone and scared that he would never amount to anything, that his parents were right, that he was such a disappointment to everyone… and he felt much shame within him. He fell asleep crying and asked Life to give him the strength to be a good boy, to make his parents proud. He always talked to Life like other people talk to God because he could touch life, he could touch the seeds, feel the winds, he had a connection with it.
The following day he went to the fields and promised his mother he would do as she said. He was filled with a sense that it would not be so hard to plant the seeds as his mother told him and as his father wanted. He was filled with the kind of resolve that made him feel he was a good boy and he would make his parents proud. So he started planting the seeds as he was told, dutifully and carefully, saying caring words to each one. He would say to one: “You will grow strong and tall and soothe the hearts of many people!” Then he would cover it with dirt and say out loud: “Dirt! Be good to the seed, she has so many people to love.” And to another: “You will be so beautiful that no one will eat your fruit, but everybody seeing you will be blessed with happiness!’ And he continued like this feeling content. Suddenly, his mother called him and raised her voice: “Son! Don’t you see that all this time you are taking is just a waste of time? How many seeds have you planted so far? How many do you have left to plant? You’ll never amount to anything! You’re just a waste of my time!”
The little boy went into the woods and started to cry feeling hopeless. He had done his best and he was still a disappointment to his mother. He’d envisioned so much pride in her and it was not happening. He was feeling like a horrible little boy and was filled with shame. He lost track of time and arrived late for supper. His mother told him there was no supper for him because he was late. She sent him to his bedroom. She said he had a rebel streak in him and he needed to learn a lesson. The little boy did not say a word. He went to his bedroom. He did not even cry. He was numb. And his heart was heavy. He did not even think to talk to Life like the previous night.
In the morning, he had a hard time waking up. His mother yelled at him a few times to get up and then gave up. When he got up, he gave himself breakfast and went out to the woods and walked aimlessly, alone. He did not even come home for lunch. When he got home for supper, he was silent. His mother yelled something about worrying her all day. His father told him if he could not follow a simple task they could no longer help him.
Many days passed and nothing much changed. The little boy no longer felt the seeds in his hands, and no longer talked to them. He no longer laughed watching how the winds danced with the seeds and the seeds enjoyed being danced with before they fell softly on the ground, giddy with love. Many days passed alone. Not even alone, just empty, like he did not have a self anymore; nothing.

(soon to be published in a collection of shorts called CONSTELLATIONS)

 

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