SEEDS FOR NEESIE: A TALE OF RE-ENTRY.
For months, it was just my dog and me. Walking our somber Queens neighborhood. I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t see her. I couldn’t see them. So, I learned how to do my own box braids through social media. I baked chocolate chip cookies and attempted my own version of that viral recipe. And yes, I bought a bike and picked up running again. I had to fill up my day with something so I didn’t feel so isolated. I told myself I wouldn’t play the piano again until I had formal lessons but guess what? I started playing that again too.
See, this particular morning, my fingers itched for the keys. As I held my hands horizontally straight in front of me, they trembled. I’d never experienced this before. And don’t get me wrong, I loved to play and figure out chords but I was an awkward self taught piano player. I could read music but the amount of time it took for me to decipher chords and melodies was nothing to write home about. But today? I felt like someone or some thing was whispering in my ear, telling me to play. I couldn’t shake this feeling anymore. I scrambled to find my favorite gospel songbook and frantically turned to that one song I loved. As I opened the page, a tiny brown package dropped from the crease between to the two pages to the ground. I reached down to pick it up and it said, Seeds for Neesie. Wait a minute. WAIT. A. MINUTE. These were the seeds my dad gave me before he passed!
I lifted the flap of the package and the seeds were so tiny, I had to squint to see them. I never forgot the day when my dad gave them to me and told me to turn around and leave. I knew I had them but in a small studio apartment in Queens, it wasn’t something I even remembered having. The seeds fell out from the notes of the last song I sang to him in the hospital room. Warm tears slid down my face as I started singing,
“As soon as I stop worrying…*”
The package starts to move.
“Worrying how the story ends…*”
The movement gets stronger and grips my palm.
“I let go and I let — -*”
I am knocked off the piano stool on the old wooden floor of my apartment. I stopped singing because that fall knocked the wind out of me. So I started to sing again and a luscious cherry tomato popped out from the package…