Diamond in the rough

broken piece of glass

The tiny patch of green was overflowing with fruit and vegetable plants in varying stages of ripeness. Sanna and her young daughter Birte were carefully picking squash and peppers. A basket filled with their harvest sat on the mulch path wending through the garden.

Other members of their community co-op were busy with their plots, weeding, staking heavy vines, and picking their own fresh produce.

Birte popped a sun-warmed cherry tomato into her mouth, the juice running down her chin. Her face still wet, Birte leaned in to kiss her mother. Sanna laughed and tried to avoid her sticky daughter.

Their antics caught the attention of the other gardeners, who tsked their disapproval. They didn’t like Sanna, and had been suspicious of her since she moved into the neighborhood six months ago. Her background was questionable, there was no trace of Birte’s father, and no one knew what Sanna did to earn a living.

There were rumors, of course, though no one was close enough, or bold enough, to ask the necessary questions.

Sanna could feel the stares, and heard the whispers. She tried to shield her daughter from the ugliness of it, ignoring the worst of the gossip.

If anyone had bothered to ask, they would have learned of Sanna’s childhood in Serbia and her harrowing escape to America. They would have heard about how her Marine husband, Birte’s father, died serving in Afghanistan. They would have discovered that she was a translator for an IT company that allowed her to work from home.

Birte was digging in the dark dirt, clearing their patch of persistent dandelions, while her mother finished picking all the ripe vegetables.

A squeal from her daughter caught Sanna’s full attention.

“Look Mamice, I found a diamond!”

Sanna took a deep breath, calming herself as she took the ribbed piece of glass from Birte. Gently turning it over in her hand, Sanna smiled at the discovery.

“Oh, ceri, I’m sorry, that is not a diamond.” Sanna used the same term of endearment her own mother used to call her. “It is only a pretty piece of glass.”

“Can we still keep it?” Birte eagerly asked.

“Of course, my sweet ceri.” Sanna put it on the cross-bar of the community garden fence. “It will glitter in the sun here.”

“Like you Mamice,” Birte said. “When you work in the garden, you get all glittery too.”

“So do you, ceri.” Sanna hugged her daughter, as the other gardeners looked on in judgment.

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Light and Shade Challenge:Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove.” ~ Terry Pratchett

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