My grandfather’s pansies

When I was a child I would often visit my grandfather’s house and admire the pansies he grew near the backdoor of his house. This area would get no sunshine. Worse it was where he would dump hot ash from his coal stove. In this dark fiery place grew white and yellow and purple pansies.

In our culture we associate pansies with softness and weakness. I learned instead that they were hardy and beautiful and defiant. We all should be like my grandfather’s pansies. We should all be so wondrous.


I wrote the above earlier this week and I realized it comes across like so many things I write. I don’t even know why I write this way anymore. Why I write like someone needs advice and I am the one to give it to them. There are few if any that need such things.

Perhaps I should write like most people. Write about what happened recently, what happened in the past, and what if anything I thought about it.

My grandfather did have those pansies. They were beautiful to look at. Even as a kid I was impressed that they could grow there. I liked seeing them as I came through the backdoor of the house he made with his own hands.

I also treasure that memory because I only have a few times I recall interacting with my grandfather. Typically they were about his yard and what was growing there. He grew so much, from the carrots and the cucumbers at ground level to the flowers and the dill that waved high in the breeze. Of all that I appreciated the pansies the most.

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