Josy’s Sundays were spent in Grandma’s garden.
Grandma was a tall, bony woman with hair spotless of color. She stopped by Josy’s home after church. There were snacks in the passenger seat for them to share on the ride. Most importantly was the hug she gave the second Josy stepped outside.
Her bony fingers were sharp but Josy didn’t mind. Her kiss to his cheek was warm.
In the car, Josy would turn on the radio of her old car, belting out folk songs at the top of his lungs. Grandma would laugh at him but never sing along. She said it was dangerous to misuse her voice and that one day it would be for Josy too.
Grandma’s home was a tiny little place in the middle of nowhere. The house was a bright blue with a yellow roof. Surrounding it was a garden, both flower and vegetable.
Josy ran straight for the vegetable garden. The land was freshly tilled and the seeds were thrown. The dirt was wet from watering but no sprouts were up just yet.
Grandma came to stand by Josy’s side. She placed a hand on top of his head, playing with his soft curls.
“It’s lettuce again,” she told him.
Josy had already guessed. It was their favorite vegetable. They could make anything out of it; soup, juice, wraps, and salads. Josy hated salad. Grandma loved it though so Josy decided he could love it too.
Grandma knelt down in the dirt and Josy did the same. She cupped her hands over her heart. Josy mirrored her.
An old song, one in a language long forgotten, spilled from her lips. It carried across the garden and Josy shivered as a gentle breeze blew up his back.
Tiny lights no bigger than fire flies began to blink over the garden. They settled on top of the dirt, curling around each seed of lettuce.
Josy held his breath. He knew what was coming but it was always exciting. He and his grandma had a gift, one he was not ready to use but she was highly skilled with.
The lettuce grew, their bodies blooming from the seeds at record speed. The leaves plumped and spread out as they greeted the sun sitting above.
As Grandma’s song quieted, the lettuce turned a healthy color and the lights disappeared.
Josy plucked a head of lettuce, struggling to hold it above his head. “You’re so cool, Grandma,” Josy said.
Grandma took the lettuce. She set it aside and hugged her grandson right. Josy hugged her back, grin growing as a soft kiss pressed to his cheeks.
Grandma died two years later and Josy grew up.
On a Sunday after church, Josy got in his old pickup. He turned the keys and took to the road. The radio played but Josy didn’t sing like he had as a kid. It was dangerous to misuse his voice now.
Grandma’s house came into view on his right. The blue he faded and the yellow was starting to look more mustard. It was still beautiful in Josy’s eyes despite its age, just like Grandma’s hugs.
He parked his car and wandered to the vegetable garden in the back. It was tilled and watered, seeds scattered across the dirt.
Two children sat in the dirt near the row where the lettuce was meant to grow. Two girls with thick curls and dresses stained in mud. They were singing to the seeds, determination glowing in their eyes.
Josy laughed and sat down between them. “It won’t work, Dad!” the eldest said while her sister continued to sing.
Josy placed a hand on her head in a pat and kissed the other on the cheek. “In time,” he reassured.
He placed his hands over his chest, smiling as his daughters mimicked him. He began singing an old song, one he had learned from years of watching his grandma.
Lights appeared in the air and sunk down to the dirt. The nestled atop the seeds and the girls cheered as giant heads of lettuce began to sprout.
Josy threw his voice farther until it even reached the flower garden in the opposite side of the house. The flowers bloomed, their leaves full. The smell from their gentle petals carried through the wind, as did the smell of dirt as carrots and radishes sprouted from the other rows of the vegetable garden.
When Josy finished, his girls were struggling to hold up a giant head of lettuce, one even larger than the kind Josy used to pluck when Grandma was around.
A breeze blew across his cheek. Josy placed a hand on the rosy skin, a smile curling over his lips. “We’re pretty cool, aren’t we, Grandma?” he whispered.