By Linda Wood Rondeau

There’s a reason I don’t garden and writing is my main ambition. Historically, I kill anything I try to grow. That’s why, when our VBS director gave me a pot of flowers, I asked my church friends to pray for the plant.

Many years ago, when I was still young and thought I might have inherited my mother’s skill with flowers, I planted zinnias in front of my trailer. I dreamed of enjoying their beauty as I looked out the window while washing dishes.

I dutifully tended the project, going out several times a week to weed, pulling up anything that looked suspicious. Weeks went by and tall green stalks came up from the soil, only the buds never bloomed.

One day my neighbor, a farmer’s wife, came up to me while I stood gazing at the “whatever” plant growing in the front of my trailer. She shook her head in dismay and said, “Linda, those are the healthiest pigweed I’ve ever seen.”

On occasion after that fiasco, I did buy some potted plants. I even managed to grow an ivy for a short time before it, too, found its way into my trash. Time and time again, my plants failed to thrive under my care.  

One day, my mother dropped off a beautiful begonia as a gift. I was thrilled … momentarily … until I remembered I’m lethal around plants. My mother returned the next day and retrieved her gift. Mothers know. With a shake of her head she said, “What was I thinking!”

In later years, I gave up the dream of ever being a tiller of soil. Then I turned to my truest passion, writing, and became a wordsmith, with far better success than anything else I’ve tried to grow.

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