TITLE: The Light Behind the Clouds
GENRE: Women's Fiction w/ Magic Realism
For centuries, the women in Abigail's family tucked their children in at night whispering the instructions of life: plant a tree, repair the home, nurture the gift.
As soon as she was old enough to carry a bucket, Abigail was charged with caring for the tree planted the spring after her birth. Though that wasn't part of the saying, every time the family planted a tree, it was a walnut, grown from the seed of the mother's tree. Walnut trees were finicky - they required proper placement, careful watering, and patience. When both Abigail and the tree were ten years old, the tree started producing, but her elation was short lived. Over the next few years, Abigail made multiple trips to the furthest point of the backyard, gathering buckets of nuts. On many of these occasions, she was joined by her mother and her grandmother as they cared for their own trees also in the yard. Abigail wondered aloud why the tree had to be planted in their backyard. And why they couldn't plant something like a maple or a spruce - something that didn't require so much work every single year.
"There are some things worth nurturing," Mother said, "worth the time and effort. Love is one." She smiled and added, "Raising a gracious daughter is another. You will learn this someday. And in the meantime..."
In the meantime, Abigail placed bucket after bucket on the back step. Her home was the house that generations built. Or at least, maintained.