Friday, March 11, 2011

Musings of a seed potato

A story is better than complaints. I'm not doing so well, whether I'm paying the price for 2 weeks of constant typing, or the temps going back and forth between just above to just below freezing, or something else entirely, I don't know. It makes for boring whiny blogging, so instead I'll give you a story made for my WA group.

“Everything has a scent, boy. It’s own unique trail in the air. Not, perhaps, noticeable to everyone, but there all the same. Do you understand what I’m telling you, son?” The young seed potato was silent for a while, deep in thought and concentration. “Maybe, I don’t know… how can things like snow have a scent? Nobody can smell snow, can they? Can you smell snow, Master Pimpernel?” 

The elder seed potato looked disappointed for the shortest span of time, before his expression again turned blank, void of all emotions. “No.” He said, in a barely audible voice. “But even if I cannot smell it, it doesn’t mean it is scentless, boy.” He suddenly looked stern. “Not everything in this universe relates directly to you, Seddic. You are less than a speck on the pages of history, barely a thought on a god’s mind.”

Seddic felt oddly offended by the old man’s words. He didn’t quite know how that could be; as he didn’t understand half of what the elder conspesific vegetable spoke of. He shivered from cold and tried to huddle closer to the other seed cousins and family members above and below and around him on all sides. “But, I mean, how can it have a scent if I can’t smell it? Besides, how can you know it has a scent if you can’t smell it? Who told you it has one?”

The elder Pimpernel sighed. He ignored most of what the youngster asked him – as he always did, as was proper for an elder to do -  “The snow has a scent. Sometimes it is a scent that stings. Sometimes it stings all the way down to the lungs, depending on how cold it is. Sometimes it is but a ghost lingering on the waves of ether, a harbinger of things to come. Sometimes a human will stop what they’re doing, look up, draw in a deep breath and utter: “I can smell snow in the air, a blizzard is coming!” …and sometimes, when the snow is old, when spring has yet to whisper her comings; when the sun’s rays have barely begun to offer from her vast source of warmth, then the snow has a different kind of scent. One that cannot be adequately described. One that is slightly wet, slightly old; still, filled with wistfulness and the seeds of hope…” He fell silent for a long time, then shrugged “Or, so I’ve been told.”His face crunched up as if suddenly amused by some private bitter joke and spoke in a cracked voice “Who? Who told you?” You ask, The elder cackled, “Well, son, the gods told me. That’s who.”

He patted the confused specimen of the younger generation Pimpernels on the back of his shoulders. “I’ll tell you another thing, son. Something your immature mind will understand. That time I told you about, the time when the snow smells of hope. It is now, son.” He smiled as recognition dawned on the young face and lit it up. “Really? Spring is almost here? Seddic asked? “We’ll be cut in half and planted in rich black soil soon?” The elder returned the smile “Just so.”

And in his mind he hoped this would be the last winter he’d spend here in storage. He had worked hard for the position he now held and he’d been lucky, he was in the second layer of seed potatoes and the chances of being left behind on the floor of the storage bin again, was slim. He wondered briefly how many new potatoes he’d give new life and nourishment to. His thoughts trailed off. Seddic didn’t interrupt or disturb the elder further; instead he was left to ponder on much the same things, although that was unbeknownst to them both.

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