[UPDATE: I am so honored and thrilled to announce that this story won first place! Someone pinch me!]
It’s time for ❤ Susanna Leonard Hill‘s<3 Valentiny contest! Her 5th one! She knows how to spread the love.
The challenge: Write a kid’s Valentine’s story in 214 words or less in which someone is curious.
I’m curious about love a lot these days. I’m curious about what we can do to increase kindness and equity. I’m curious about how to make this world a more loving and accepting place for the next generation. And sometimes this curiosity feels overwhelming and threatens to drown me. So I try and remember what I tell my students and my own children: start where you are with what you have. Little things can make a big difference. With open-minded and hopeful curiosity of my own, here is my story:
SEEDS OF LOVE (200 words)
By Nicole Loos Miller
“The world needs more love,” says Grandma.
She sets a flower pot on the table.
We paint it with hearts for Valentine’s Day.
I don’t know about love, but the world has more color at least.
The seed is tiny, but Grandma says not to underestimate it.
What kind of seed is it?
But she won’t tell me.
“Life is better when there is room for wonder,” she whispers.
Poke. Dig. Poke.
The dark dirt sticks under my fingernails.
Scoop. Scoop. Scoop.
Back over my seed. Like a cozy blanket.
See you soon, little seed.
You are my sunshine, I sing.
My watering can is a gentle rainstorm.
Push. Push. Up!
A tiny bit of green starts to show.
You can do it.
Secrets, bunched and waiting on a thin green stem.
A little taller each day.
A tiny star surrounded by pink.
Bright and delicate.
Lovely and strong.
“Who should we give it to?’ Grandma asks.
I want to keep it.
“Love is for sharing,” she insists.
We leave it on our neighbors doorstep.
“We did it,” laughs Grandma.
And she’s right.
I can feel it.
There’s more love now.
From just one seed.