top of page

The Zinnia Tradition

Every summer we plant zinnia seeds from last year's harvest. Because of the frosty mornings in late spring, we start seedlings indoors, but many of them die when transplanted. Iowa weather pitches surprises: thunderstorms with wind and heavy rains flooding the soil. We then drive up to the local garden store and buy a few zinnia packs to mix in with the survivors.

Would you believe these seedlings grow into flower stalks as tall as a person? The best part is how the hummingbirds love them. Goldfinches land on the flower tops, and butterflies, too—the symphony of life and colors makes it an anticipated tradition. When fall comes, we collect the seeds from withered petals, and store them in a paper bag until winter edges into spring, and spring finally whispers hints of summer.

In a way, these zinnia seeds remind me of the beginnings of this blog. I'm writing and storing away scraps of stories. Blogging is sharing words that a writer hopes will be read. And to grow a readership. Stories that are excellent, beautiful, or true can flourish in the mind of a reader.

Maybe these stories fill up a book someday, or maybe not. Maybe they are just handfuls of words, simple blog posts, like handfuls of zinnia seeds to share with good friends.*


Writing Practice Prompt:

Choose a hymn. My favorite is, "More Love to Thee, O Christ," by Elizabeth Prentiss. Leland Ryken’s book 40 Favorite Hymns for the Christian Year has some good choices too. Read through the song, or find a way to listen, then try writing an additional stanza for the hymn with the same syllable count.

*Post updated on 5/2/2023 (I used to include writing prompts in blog posts because my original blogging plan for readership was to connect with other aspiring writers. Now I lead Gospel-Centered Discipleship's Writers' Guild, an online community of 100+ writers.)



Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page