A Painting Canvas

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short story. :)

It seemed too cold for what was supposed to be a beautiful August day. Sage Lovett sat up in one of the highest branches of a rather large tree, resting against the trunk, bundled up in one single jacket, her dark brown hair flying in front of her face, dancing in time with the wind. Every Sunday, Sage would come out and simply sit by the tree which had been planted on the top of a hill, right in the middle of the woods.

Like she did every time she came here was pull out her sketchbook. Sage was an artist and an amazing one at that. She had plans for her life- to attend a university and get a degree in what she loved, and sell her works all around the world. Her mother had always encouraged these things; she’d say ‘Life is like a canvas, and everyday you add a new stroke. Make your life a masterpiece.’

Sage took a deep breath and continued drawing a new picture she had started yesterday. It was, well, she wasn’t too sure what it was. Her hand guided her, always, and she never knew what she was drawing until she was done. It was called ‘Pouring Your Heart onto Paper,’ her mom said.

Sage closed her eyes as her hand continued moving, and she thought about her mom, her beautiful mother- her mother that she missed so dearly.

~

Willow Lovett had just taken Sage to an art museum, and they were walking home; it was dark and the only light was from the last streetlight on the entire road that hadn’t burnt out. They were passing the park, which was directly beside the willow tree.

Willow loved that tree. It had been planted there when she was a child, and she had grown up with it, always watering it, sitting by it, encouraging it to grow. They stopped next to it on the way home, Willow simply standing there with her palm pressed against the trunk of the tree, her other hand resting gently over her heart. Sage, being only seven at the time, didn’t understand why her mother loved this tree so much.

Bored, Sage wandered off to the park. It was cold out, the wind blowing straight through her thin fall jacket, sending severe chills all the way down her spine. She walked with her arms crossed over her chest, trying to keep as warm as possible as she made her way to the swings. They were moving on their own already, the wind pushing them back and forth only a few inches, creaking throughout the playground.

Sage, not scared at all, sat on the swing and grabbed the chains, swinging herself back and forth, higher and higher. When she looked over, she saw her mother still by the tree; her eyes were closed now and she was sitting with her back resting against the trunk her hands had been placed on only a moment before.

Sage had always been curious as to why her mother loved that tree so clearly; digging her feet into the sand, Sage stopped the swing and hopped off, landing lightly in the sand. Cautiously, she made her way to where her mother was, looking peaceful and content. “Mommy?” Sage whispered. “Are you okay?”

Willow opened her eyes, and Sage could see the tears that were making her eyes slightly misty. “I’m okay, baby. I’m just fine.” She patted the ground beside her, indicating that she wanted Sage to sit with her. Sage was cold, and she wanted to go home, but she didn’t want to disappoint her mom. So she took a seat and made herself comfortable on the ground that was even colder than the air.

Willow sighed. “Isn’t this a beautiful tree, darling?” Sage’s mom asked quietly, her voice seeming to blend in with the wind itself.

Sage nodded in agreement.

“Did you know I was named after this tree, Sage, darling?” Willow asked, her dark green eyes glowing in the darkness of the night.

Sage shook her head.

Willow smiled. “My daddy- your grandpa- planted this tree when he was about your age. This tree has been around for decades. When Grandpa Micah planted it, he planted it because there were no trees as he was growing up. There were no trees in his neighbourhood for him to climb, or no trees for him to sit under and protect him from the Sun on a hot day.

“When he was in grade three, his class did a project. They all got a yogurt cup, and the teacher put soil in it, and gave each of them a flower seed to grow in the cup. Every day they had to water it, feed it, provide it with sunlight, and treat it properly and carefully so that it would grow.

“So over the next few weeks, Grandpa Micah would water his plant, he would put it in the sunlight, and he would watch it, hoping to see something, anything, grow. But the weeks passed and his plant didn’t even sprout. Not a single bud or leaf. Grandpa Micah was upset because he thought he was doing something wrong; he thought that he wasn’t taking proper care of his plant.

“So one day he went to his teacher and showed her the plant, and he showed her how it wasn’t growing. The teacher could see how devastated he was, so she decided to help him. She suggested that maybe the seed had been baked or cooked, which would stop the seed from growing- she offered to give him a brand new one so he could watch it grow, but Grandpa Micah didn’t want a new seed. He’d spent so much time and effort with that seed- the seed that didn’t want to grow- and he didn’t want to just give it up.

“So Grandpa Micah kept the plant. And he continued watering it, putting it in the sun, nurturing it. And do you know what happened, Sage?” Willow asked.

Sage shook her head. The wind had died down slightly, so Sage wasn’t as cold as she had been before, and she liked just sitting here, listening to her mother’s voice.

“The plant started growing. But it wasn’t a little bud or leaf like the other children’s from school. It was wood- bark. It was a baby tree. A baby willow tree.” Willow- the woman- smiled. Sage couldn’t help but smile along with her. “And the tree kept growing, and growing, and soon, it was too big for that little yogurt cup. So he planted it. He planted it so that everyone could enjoy its beauty as much as he did.

“And everything important that he did in his life, happened by this tree. He met his wife, the love of his life- your Grandma Sofia, by this tree, he kissed her for the first time by this tree, he proposed to her by this tree, and that’s why he named me after the tree. And whenever I asked him why he named me Willow, he would point to the tree, and he would say ‘See that tree over there? Look how beautiful it is. It is the most beautiful tree in the whole town, just like you, sweetheart.’

“And you know why I named you Sage?”

For the fourth time tonight, Sage shook her head, excited to hear an answer. She’d always wondered why she’d been named Sage, because sage was a type of seasoning, so she’d always been confused- wondering why her mother had picked that named above all others.

“Look at this, sweetheart.” Willow took her daughter’s hand in hers and placed a small leaf in her small palm.

Sage looked at it. It was a tiny plant- the leaf no bigger than her mother’s circular watch. It looked beautiful- it was hard to see in the dark but it was a beautiful shade of green.When Sage lifted it to her face and smelled it, she was surprised by the wonderful aroma that came from the tiny plant. “What is it?” Sage asked her mother curiously, giving the plant another smell.

Willow took it from her daughters hand and let it fly away with the wind. “That’s a plant called sage, sweetheart. It is the only plant that grows around this willow tree. Nobody knows why, but even when other plants are planted here, they don’t grow. Only Sage will grow here, right beside the willow.”

Willow smiled at her daughter. “I love you, Sage. With all my heart,” Willow whispered to her daughter.

Sage smiled at her mother. “I love you too, Mommy.”

And Willow and Sage sat there, resting against the willow tree, and with the sweet scent of sage blowing in the wind around them.

~

Sage put her pencil down. She opened her eyes and looked down at the picture. It was a drawing of a tree that looked almost identical to the one she was currently sitting on. The wind had gotten even stronger than it had been when she first got there, and she was freezing, but she wasn’t going to leave until she finished looking at her drawing.

Next to the willow tree was another- not as large, not as full of leaves, but it was still beautiful. All around the trees were small, delicate plants- sage- sprouting from the ground, circling the trees.

Sage sighed. Again she finished a picture and she still wasn’t happy with it. Sage put her drawing book in her bag and through it over her head, so it rested on her shoulder and came to an end at her hip. She climbed down from the tree the same way she came up.

When she hit the ground, she rested her hand against the trunk of her tree. She missed her mom. Ever since she’d died from cancer two years ago, Sage had never felt happy. She remembered when her mom had told her how she was the most beautiful flower she had ever seen, and how she said she would grow up to do amazing things.

But she refused to believe anything good could happen to her now.

She headed home just in time for dinner. She placed her bag on the couch and hung her coat in the closet. Her dad and her little brother were already at the table.

Sage sighed and sat down, while the family ate in an uncomfortable silence. Then her brother, Ken, cleared his throat- he was only seven. “At school today, we were supposed to hand in our assignment we were supposed to write. But I didn’t.”

Sage’s father, Henri, looked up at him. “Why not, Kenny?”

Ken sighed. “We were supposed to keep a journal of what happened every day with our plant. But it’s been two weeks, and my flower hasn’t grown. I had nothing to write about, Daddy. So I had no assignment to hand in.”

Sage’s head snapped up. “It’s not growing? At all?”

Ken shook his head.

Sage smiled slightly. “Where’s the plant, Kenny? Where did you put it when you got home from school?”

Ken shrugged. “I think I put it on the coffee table in the living room. Why?”

Sage stood up. “I’ll be right back, dad.”

Sage went to the living room and picked up the small pot which held soil which looked uninterrupted. Sage wondered…

She didn’t even bother putting her coat on; she walked out the door and ran to the willow tree. Kneeling down beside it, she used her hands to dig a hole, and then she, very carefully, poured the soil and the seed from the pot into the poorly dug hole.

Remembering her mother’s story about Grandpa Micah, Sage knew in her heart that they’d soon see another tree there, to comfort her mother. Sage knew that Ken’s plant not growing meant that it wasn’t just any flower- it was a tree. Just like Grandpa Micah’s had been, which had grown into this beautiful willow tree next to her.

Sage sighed. “You’ll never be alone, Mommy,” she whispered, her voice blowing away with the wind.

And for once, her picture finally made sense to her.


Submitted: February 12, 2011

© Copyright 2022 Brii Morris. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

MissSerendipity

Oh that was beautiful. Very inspiring too, it makes me want to plant something. I have terrible luck though, I manage to put the plant on the heater and accidently fry it.

Aw Sage and her mother had such a wonderful relationship. Very cute Brii, awesome job! :)

Sat, February 12th, 2011 5:15pm

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks hun! That means a lot!
And if it interests you, I will be updating ISTY tomorrow! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 9:21am

bimbobunny

Ohh~ Very bittersweet! I like the fluidity and the name play. ^_^

Sat, February 12th, 2011 5:53pm

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks soooo much! Glad you liked it! Means the world to me! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 10:02am

Lynn Grey

Aww this was so sweet :) it seems like most short stories about romance so this was really nice change :) I love the sorry behind her and her mothers name :) it was really cute.

Sat, February 12th, 2011 6:19pm

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks hun. :D
Yeah, i always like writing things that are different from what others write. :D
Thanks so much, again, hun! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 10:20am

NeverMindMe

I looooooooved it. :DD

Super duper allen trooper happy that you wrote something. WEHOO.

This was super good. Like. Super, super I'm jealous of how well you write good. :)

Sat, February 12th, 2011 7:11pm

Author
Reply

Really?! Thanks, foo'! xD
Awe, thanks. I'm- how did you put it? Super duper allen trooper happy that you read it! :D
Awe, there's no need to be jealous! You're such a better writer than I am! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:31pm

AutumBreeze

Okay, this made me cry! I believe it was a mixture of both sad and happy tears. lol. This was so well written and so moving. It was simply adorable. Very touching. I loved it. Thanks for sending me a request to read this :)

Sat, February 12th, 2011 7:35pm

Author
Reply

Awe, hun, thank you! Soooooooo much! I honestly cannot put my feelings about how much this means to me into words!
Thank YOU for reading it! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:28pm

Secret Solace

I really liked this story. Your style flowed well and was very poetic. The metaphors to life and family and nature were just awe inspiring!!!

This is really a great story and you should be proud. Thanks for letting me know about it.

Sat, February 12th, 2011 8:00pm

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks sooooo much, hun! I honestly cannot tell you how much this means to me! Your comment totally means the world to me!
Thank YOU for reading it! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:27pm

georgia

Very cute story! i loved it! (:

Sat, February 12th, 2011 8:32pm

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks hun! So glad you enjoyed it! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:26pm

MidnightDarkAngel

Oh, I loved this. I see you finally got rid of your writer's block. I'm so happy for you Brii. :D

And this wasn't the usual love stories. It's very unique. Thus, I loved it. :]
Keep up the good work Brii. :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 9:54pm

Author
Reply

Hahaha, yeah, about time! That writers block was with me forever! Thanks sooooo much hun!
Means the world to me! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:25pm

Darling Reese

It was a very, very heart-warming read, Brii. Your style is fabulous and different.It was so professional like and it drew me right in, so congrats!

I love the names Willow and Sage. Both of them have a pretty edge to them in some way. Oh and I loved the title.

---Reese

Sat, February 12th, 2011 10:15pm

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks sooooooo much, hun! This means the world to me! I'm soooooo happy that you likeed it! Thank you for such the wonderful comment! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:24pm

BareFootSurfer

*Jaw drops*
My oh my, you have got a piece of work right here. I was expecting a love story but this hits so much closer to heart than anything, ever.
Cancer has played a big part in my life and I love how you portrayed the legacy of Willow. Literally.
I don't even know what to say, this just blew me away. I can't even explain.

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:14pm

Author
Reply

Awe, really?! I can't even explain how wonderful your comment made me feel! The fact that you read it and actually likeed it means the absolute world to me! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:23pm

PageTurner

WHOAAAAAaaaa. OMG.
That was FRICKIN' AMAZING!!! I love it so much!
It's so inspiring and meaningful, but also well-written and descriptional. I adore your imagination and your ingenuity, and you writing style of course!
OMGG, that was just one of the best short stories I've ever read. Ever.
I love the fact that the history repeats itself :)
You're so talented!
xx Paige

Sun, February 13th, 2011 1:54am

Author
Reply

Awe, seriously?! Thanks soooooo much, hun! The fact that you enjoyed it so much really does mean the world to me!
Thank you sooooooo much for reading it and for such the wonderful comment! :D

Sat, February 12th, 2011 11:22pm

livexlaughxlovex

Aww this is so bittersweet!

Sun, February 13th, 2011 9:08am

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks, hun! Glad you liked it! :D

Sun, February 13th, 2011 1:23am

Chockl8 Muffin

that is very different! inspiring even!
thank you for asking me to read!! :O:O
it's really good

Sun, February 13th, 2011 11:21am

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks soooooo much, hun! Means the world to me!
Thank YOU for reading it! :D

Sun, February 13th, 2011 3:49am

2010Alana

That was such a beautiful piece of writing. It's short and very sweet.
Good work :)

~Alana;

Sun, February 13th, 2011 1:36pm

Author
Reply

Awe, thanks soooooo much, hun! That really does mean the world to me! Thanks for reading! :D

Sun, February 13th, 2011 5:52am

Blushes Scarlett

Aw, this was very well written and a good read!:D It was ammmmazing! Thanks for telling me about it!:)

Sun, February 13th, 2011 1:39pm

Author
Reply

Awe, really? Thanks soooooo much, hun! That means the world to me! Thank YOU for reading it! :D

Sun, February 13th, 2011 5:55am

kvalentinex

That was beautiful! Seriously! Every single sentence was gorgeously written, definitely a very inspiring read. I really enjoyed it. I almost wish it was a long story. Y'know, instead of a short story... yes, bad joke, I know... But you get the point! I'd love to read more about this family!
Sage seems like a wonderful character with an even better name! The idea behind this is so lovely. It was sweet and happy, while remaining very sad and even heavy, at times.
I loved it!

Sun, February 13th, 2011 1:56pm

Author
Reply

Awe, really?! Thanks soooooo much, hun! Honestly, your comment means the world to me! Really! :D
I'm soooooo glad that you liked it! It makes me feel like a good writer! xD

Sun, February 13th, 2011 5:58am

Addictedtobooks

Wow amazingly written!! I can't say much else other than the fact the his is absolutely perfect and brilliant!

Sun, February 13th, 2011 5:47pm

Author
Reply

Awe, really?! Thanks soooooo much, hun! That means the world to me! Honestly! :D

Sun, February 13th, 2011 10:19am

CharlotteRose891

Aw that was such a great story! I'm usually not a huge fan of stories like that, but this one I loved!! Great work! :)

Mon, February 14th, 2011 12:13pm

Author
Reply

Awe, really?! Thanks sooooo much, hun! Means the world to me! :D

Mon, February 14th, 2011 4:29am

weathergirlwrites118

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! That makes me miss Sage's mom too :( That was kinda sad, but at the same time it was really good :) It's so neat how things like that happen though, like only sage growing around that tree and stuff.. Amazing :) You're such an amazing writer, Miss Brii :D ??

Thu, February 17th, 2011 3:39pm

Author
Reply

Awe, hun! I can't even tell you how much this comment means to me! Everytime I see your name when I click my comment box, i get all excited! :D
Awe, thanks Weather! You're an wonderful writer yourself, Miss Weather! :D

Thu, February 17th, 2011 8:07am

Pretty But Dead

Wow! This is just so bittersweet but so beautiful as well. Very well written as well :)

Thu, February 24th, 2011 3:56pm

Author
Reply

Awe, really?! Thanks so much, hun! That honestly means the world to me! :D
Thanks for reading!

Fri, February 25th, 2011 4:28am

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