Crimson’s Creative Challenge #69: Upended


Madge slipped into her boots and headed for the garden. The boots slipped back and forth on her feet, still heavy with mud from the previous day.

She’d always enjoyed this time of year. The spring pruning, the pot scrubbing, righting the gnomes upended by winter storms. There was an excitement to it, an anticipation of summer in the scent of compost and the rows of brightly coloured seed packets.

She hadn’t sown any seeds this spring. She wouldn’t see the cherry blossom break pink against a blue May sky. She wouldn’t sink her teeth into an apple fresh from her own tree. Those thoughts gave her a pang – who wouldn’t want just one more summer?

But the garden would grow lush without her, the bees would still come and visit the trees and plants she’d tended.

The world turned. And that was enough.


Written for Crimson’t Creative Challenge #69. See here to join in.


22 thoughts on “Crimson’s Creative Challenge #69: Upended

    1. I’m afraid I was thinking she was going to die before summer too. But trying to draw some hope from the idea – that nature and the world continues happily without us, that (not to sound too twee) a legacy doesn’t have to mean making headlines, being famous, but leaving the world a little better, even if it’s only by making a lovely garden. Thanks so much Crispina

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, very true. I’m proud that so far my son seems to be a thoughtful, kind person, angered by injustice. I wish he was more outgoing and confident, but being a good man will go a long way

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I always remember what one of my teacher said in respect of why a young woman should seek higher education when her lot was likely to be motherhood and parttime jobs. Oh, theose crazy days before Women’s Lib. He said… but the woman/mother is the prime educator of the next generation. Hence her own education is never a waste.


      3. Well, that’s kind of a positive view for the times 🙂 Though education is never wasted on anyone. I never got to use my first from the OU but the good it did for my mind, my self-esteem, self-belief is incalculable. And the gap studying left in my life was soon filled with writing a novel. So I’ll always be grateful


      4. I went via the Art route… and have hankered for a history degree ever since. Except, I know I haven’t the discipline to follow someone else’s schedule. I shall ever be a self-learner. For that, I do have discipline.


      5. And that’s a terrific thing in itself, that willingness to learn. I call myself nosy, but really I’m just curious about people, their lives, how things work. People think I’m a good listener and it’s just that I’m genuinely interested in what’s going on with people. I’m not saying that some of their lives might not end up, even in a distant way, in a story…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. With me it’s all about learning. I’ll listen to people on buses… called eavesdropping, cos I love to learn about their lives. Could be cos I don’t have a tv to binge on soaps!


  1. Upending the gnomes, I like that. And going deeply into this character in such a sharp sudden moment, nicely done. Dips into the dystopic.


    1. Thank you, Bill. I was just thinking what a pressure legacy gardeners can leave, any of us who can leave something positive in the environment after we go. There are worse things to do. Thanks for reading. Take care

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope that for myself too. When I was younger I assumed older people happily resigned themselves to death. Having seen family go through it, I now know that many of us remain wedded to life, no matter how unpleasant it becomes. I hope I’d be like Madge, content to vanish back into the earth, but none of us know till it happens, do we? Thanks for reading, Jane


      1. It’s the great unknown, really unknown. Even people who believe that there is something next and they know exactly what it will be like don’t actually want to go there.


  2. Awww… Madge does have a wonderful attitude despite what lies ahead… I think I’d sow the seeds anyway. Always a delight to read.


    1. Oh, I think I’d be tempted too. There is something comforting about knowing life continues without you – comforting and slightly baffling too. When my dad died I remember being almost baffled that people were still going about their normal business when something so huge had happened to us. But thank goodness they do, really. The world continues to turn. Thank you as ever for your lovely comments

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it does. There is a moment where you look around (and this sounds weird but like when you finish a good book and no one else seems to be as affected as you because you were so involved in it, it became real…)
        Yes, it is a good thing it keeps on turning.


      2. That’s a great comparison, Dale. Yes, those hours and days by hospital bedsides out you in a bubble where there is nothing else. When you come out, the world is still going about it’s business and there’s a real feeling of being disjointed, apart. Takes a while for life to take on its normal meanings again

        Liked by 1 person

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