Seed for Thought

Milkweed

Kindness is
planting milkweed seed
for a monarch butterfly
we’ve never met.
My daughter and I
dig a trench along
a wooded path,
where just a bit of light comes in.
It’s place where a caterpillar
might live its days in
emerald twilight,
munching its favorite food,
until it winds hope about itself.
Then it can be still,
listening to the wind
and the dog walkers,
the trail joggers
and the children finding pebbles
among the leaves and earth
in this green place of wishes.
Kindness is hoping it grows.
Kindness is carrying water in two hands,
sloshed onto colorful sneakers,
dribbled onto a rumpled trench.
Kindness is wishing all winter
for not-too-cold, not-too-dry,
for that seed to remember
the loving hands that patted
the soil into place.
Kindness is imagining the world
orange and yellow,
full of fluttering wings,
Without a care for oneself.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note:  A few days ago, my daughter and I planted a hundred milkweed seeds along the edge of a wood. We watched for rain and imagined the seeds putting down tiny roots. We hope for a dozen milkweed plants come spring. We hope monarchs hear the milkweed song and come dancing along. Have you a kind act to share? Today’s Little Ditty has a challenge from editor Rebecca Davis to write “a poem about a specific act or moment of kindness. You can write it from any point of view– as a participant, a beneficiary, or as a witness. The more specific and vivid, the better!” Some of the poetry will be published by Today’s Little Ditty between now and Thanksgiving.

33 thoughts on “Seed for Thought

    • Yes! We would do that, too. One day someone’s package erupted on trash day, and the wind took the styrofoam peanuts all over the street. My kids and I went out and picked them all up. I try to teach them that if they don’t do something, maybe it will never get done. They are good kids. 🙂

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  1. I really liked how you shared this gift of kindness with your daughter. Her catching flying milkweed seeds made me smile, and also, how she patted them down into the dirt. Real love for nature and how sweet this was! What a wonderful mother you sre, Brenda. ♡
    A fiction book written by a woman who loves science and nature, Barbara Kingsolver, wrote, “Flight Behavior.” It has so much in character development, monarch flight patterns, a Mexican family, a black science researcher and a family in Tennessee who have the surprise of a lifetime: thousands of Monarchs coming to the hills behind their farm. It was my book club’s first book we read in September. 🙂

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    • Monarchs will only lay their eggs on milkweed, and milkweed is getting squeezed out by over-gardening. We need our wild areas. My neighbors and I are all trying to allow the milkweed more space in the hopes the monarch will come back.

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  2. Wonderful post, Brenda. That image of the seeds really popped out at me, as well as some creative expressions, “…it winds hope about itself ” and a “green place of wishes.” I hope your wish comes true and the monarchs hear the milkweed song coming in the future.

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