The story was about an ant named George who had moved into a new neighbourhood. He was looking forward to meeting all of his neighbour ants, so as soon as he got all of his furniture moved in, he put his name on the mailbox at the end of his driveway: Mr. G. I. Ant. He waited and waited but nobody came to visit him. Turns out that all the other ants were afraid to visit Mr. Ant because of the name on his mailbox.
That story blew little Joy's eight-year-old mind.
In that split second of understanding - that G. I. Ant could also be read as GIANT - she entered a whole new universe, an extraordinary and enchanting garden. A place where words were magic. Where they blossomed and bloomed, shifted and shimmered, startled and soothed.
Her love of what words could do was born in that moment.
As Joy grew, she collected words, like a gardener collects blooms in a basket, carefully choosing the choicest ones to display on notecards fastened to walls and mirrors in her house, or to press in the pages of a quote book.
Scripture words, unique words, other people's words. She marvelled at the way the fragrance of another's words could carry her through the hardest days, and she hoped that one day she'd be able to use her own words to encourage someone else in the same way.
So she worked in her garden of words whenever she could. She planted and weeded, collected and pressed. She studied and practiced, honing her skills. And she started giving her words away, in single blooms or larger bouquets, each a little different from the last.
Many years later, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, she was contacted by a stranger who had read her words and wanted to use a small bouquet in a book of hope and encouragement she was publishing.
That request blew Grandma Joy's fifty-eight-year-old mind.
But what is even more striking is that someone somewhere wrote a little story about an ant named George that blossomed the mind of a little girl.
All images from Pixabay.com
Joy plays in her word garden in Edmonton where she lives with The Cowboy and soon-to-be-married-in-the-middle-of-a-pandemic Babe. Find more of her words at Scraps of Joy.
Love that your words blossomed and that you share so many wonderful ones with us! Thank you.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Sharon. :)Delete
Oh, I love this post! it is delightful! I really like the metaphor of the garden and I do believe your words are having an impact! Blessings, friend!ReplyDelete
That is my constant prayer. Thanks, Tracy!Delete
Oh Joy, I love everything about your post -- the glimpse into a little girl's introduction to words in such a startling way, the whole metaphor of words being like blooms and bouquets from a garden. You do have a way with words that satisfies this word girl. Thank you!ReplyDelete
And your words here bless me. Thank YOU, Brenda.Delete
I love that "G. I. Ant" on the mail box. Puns delight me. Of course some people don't like those. A person really has to know the language to make puns. It's the cleverness of them which makes people laugh.ReplyDelete
I love puns too, Bruce. But you're right, a person does need to know and understand the language to make the best puns.Delete
Hi Joy! Thank you for the smile and your unique way of putting a bouquet together. Your posts are always what I need. :)ReplyDelete
You are very welcome, Alan. Thanks so much for your comment. :)Delete
I love your story, Joy! It’s so cute and has deeper meanings in there! 😉 I used to tell Andy Ant stories to our kids when they were young, and they always begged for more. Your story brought back goo memories. 👍ReplyDelete
I looked for the G.I.Ant story online ... amazing what Google knows! I found it in an old primary reader on amazon, and I'm hoping the picture I remember is exactly what I'll find in the book. :)Delete
This brought me back to my own beginnings with words and how I couldn't get enough of reading them as a child. I started with Curious George. Loved your delightful post and especially how naturally it all came about that someone read your words and wanted to publish them.ReplyDelete