by Nancy Casey
It’s early summer. The grass is growing so fast it is laughing. It’s a perfect time to celebrate that peculiar kind of change that infuses everything in the world—growth.
What does it mean for someone or something to grow? In some cases you can see it—a person, animal or thing can get larger before your very eyes. Children get taller. Our hair and nails make themselves a bit longer each day. In the evening, shadows grow.
Growth is not just a matter of size. Sometimes growing involves becoming more complex. Think of what happens to a seed underground. Or the way new leaves, whole branches, flowers and fruit add themselves to trees and bushes. Slime at the edge of a pond grows into a pollywog and then into a frog.
You can’t always see or measure growth. A person’s intelligence can grow, so can their store of knowledge or their ability to interpret and act on their emotions. Strength and competence grow somehow inside people. Grief and love grow. As does illness. Plant roots grow underground. Mold grows best in the dark. So do night-blooming flowers.
The fact that things grow is part of the larger understanding that nothing ever stays the same forever. But nothing keeps growing forever. Everything that grows eventually stops growing.
Today, as you set up your page, marking off space for a title and an illustration, think about all the different things that can grow and all the different ways they do that. Ask yourself what makes something stop growing.
Draw or doodle in the illustration space if that helps you quiet your mind and think.
Write about one thing that grows. Explain how it grows and why. Tell what makes it stop growing and what happens then. Use the word “grow.” Use the word “until.” Add any other information that comes to mind. An example, perhaps. Or a story.
If you have room on the page, write about something else that grows. Again, use the words “grow” and “until.” Explain how. Explain why. Explain whatever you want.
If you still have room on the page, choose something else and write about how it grows. Keep writing until the page is full.
When you have filled up a page, read over your work. Add whatever decoration and color the page needs. Sometimes a little doodling will help you think up a good title. Write the title at the top of the page and make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Here is an example of what a person could write.
You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. To do that, you can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.
Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She leads a writing workshop at the Recovery Center on Thursday evenings at 5pm. Anyone can drop in—just show up. You can attend just for fun or work to earn a writing certificate. To sign up or get more information, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Community Center.