PLANTING MEMORIES

Willia Mae Broome and her granddaughters. 1971. Wayside Road, Rome, Ga.

It’s not the most remarkable photo you’ve ever seen, that is until you really look closely and understand what’s happening. This little black and white snap was taken by my Mama as she watched my grandmother share a moment of spring planting with me and my sister. I still remember that little, stacked brick bed on the side of her house. It was of simple construction, filled with modest soil and fertilized with the compost of the pasture nearby. There were no statues, or birdbaths or special lighting, but that patch of dirt was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. It was where life and growth happened, not just because of the tiny seeds my grandmother dropped into our hands and we in turn pressed into the soil, but because of the time my grandmother took to share what she knew. I can still feel the warmth of her hand on the back of mine, and I will never forget the warmth of her soul. She built in me a love of gardening, and to this day I think of her when I place a plant in the ground.

Photo: Wayside Road, Rome, Georgia. 1971

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