Most of us are living strange, upended lives these days–isolated and indoors, struggling to maintain precious connections to family and friends. In many cases, our access to the out-of-doors and to the soothing power of the natural world is severely limited. Writing a “stay-at-home” story about a plant could be a good way to remind us of our connections both to nature and to many lives–human and nonhuman–that sustain us from day to day.
Outside / Inside Stories
Can you go outside? If so, write about a plant that is starting to sprout out of the ground or trees that are starting to leaf out. Did you plant bulbs in the fall that are starting to blossom? Have you seen any early pollinators, ready to get a jump-start on the season? Do you have a favorite plant whose return you are awaiting? Or maybe you live in a warmer climate where the plants live happily all year. If so, maybe you could tell those of us in colder climes about a special plant in your area.
If you can’t go outside, maybe you can share a story about a houseplant that you have–what is its backstory? Where did you get it? Was it a gift? An impulse purchase? Did it grow from a cutting given to you by a family member or friend? Did you steal it from someone (I’m looking at you, person who dug out a little flowering plant from my friend’s yard…!). Is the plant easy to care for, growing happily under any conditions? Or does a fragile nature break your heart? Are your nonhuman housemates conspiring??
Perhaps you could find a piece of art online (painting, pottery, carving, etc.) that features plants or flowers–art museum sites are a great place to look–and write a story about how the art makes you feel. Or maybe you want to share a favorite recipe whose main ingredient is an herb or vegetable that reminds you of happy times? Of friends or family near or far?
Story Ideas for Kids
Plant story writing could also be a great activity for kids. If you have any magazines around, they could tell a story about plants using cut-out pictures. You could photograph the story and send us the pictures. Or perhaps they could draw a picture to send. If you would like to record a story told by your child, let us know and you can email us an audio file directly. You can see some examples of kids’ contributions to the site here and here.
If you would like to share a “stay-at-home” story, please visit the Share your Story page. We would love to hear from you. And we don’t usually ask, but if you think others might like this page, please feel free to share with your communities.