We are One Soul


It’s been ninety years since a garden was tended in this place.  Apple trees lined a rutted dirt road that lead to  the grainery and  barn. Grandmother toiled there many days. On Friday, she burned the trash within the confines of a rusty old barrel. The other items went into a pit at the edge of her garden, broken plates and cups, empty jars, tin cans. She would toss a few shovels full of dirt onto the latest additions to the pit and forget about them.  Ninety years…there is little left to recognize in this field.

Now, her great-grandson is digging a hole for a new apple tree. The shovel hits chunks of coal and shards of broken ceramics, white and cornflower blue. Another shovel of dirt produces  tin cans, a soldier molded from melted lead, old glass jars with raised lettering. What was this place?

His mother kneels beside the mound that holds the memories of her grandmothers strong back and iron will. She thinks of her uncle as child, molding his lead soldiers. She sees her grandmothers soiled dress and ragged apron blowing around with each swing of the shovel.

“What is it, mom?” The young man asks when he sees the tear on his mother’s cheek.

The mother rises, wiping her hands on blue jeans with tattered knees. “Just thinking,” she sighs, “Of how life changes, but stays the same.”

A new apple tree is gently placed in the ground. The shards of yesterday rest once more beneath the ground. They walk together to the old house where their family has lived for five generations, past the old pantry on the porch and the oil lamp from the coal mine.

Somehow, for a moment, the past and present meld together. We are all one, one breath, one tear.


15 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    When I was young – two weeks ago – me and my friends played at a place where all the people from the village throw what they do not need anymore. Planks, old refrigerators, hoods, husbands and the like. We had a wonderful time there. Won’t go in until the sun go down…that story just remembered me again to that time.

  2. 4

    jane tims said,

    Hi. Nice photo and story. I like finding shards of history. At a museum in my community, they sell jewellery crafted from pottery shards. Jane

  3. 5

    Neal Saye said,

    I love the way the piece is in third person until the very end when it becomes “we”–a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. 8

    my gram had what she called a crockery garden, I have had one every where I have ever lived, I would like to write about it so thank you for the memory and inspiration my firend. may the apple tree produce as many bushels of apples as the love it took to plant it.

  5. 11

    This brought to mind the many stories my mom tells of her old aunties and her nana … and the pottery in the picture would almost match the set of dishes my mom keeps in her china cabinet. Little treasures! Thanks for visiting Snapshots and for your sweet words.

  6. 13

    zouarvehat said,

    Interestingly, we discover previous civilizations base don evidence of their pottery. If humanity were to disappear today and alien archaeologists came in 10,000 years time and tried to learn about humans, they;d mist likely do the same. And what is the largest and hardest piece of pottery we humans make? Our toilet bowls. They would know us by our toilet bowls…

  7. 15

    russtowne said,

    Beautiful and poetic! Thank you, beebee!

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