Timothy. Timothy Robert or T Bob is what they called him. Whomever they might be. Parents, siblings or peers etc. The “Tree” called him “boy”.
Tree was tall with drooping branches. It was a Weeping Willow Tree. It’s roots were planted right next to the garden that Timothy’s Mother had planted and tended to.
He would watch his Mother rototiller, dig up weeds, make mini trenches for carrots, cabbage, peas, corn and beets. Each had their own stake that held their very own sign with a description of what they were. She would put on her black rubber boots, a sun hat and gardening gloves. Strategically walk down beside the aisle of the vegetables careful to not step on them. She would hike up her skirt or dress just passed her knees and kneel on a piece of cardboard to prevent whatever pattern or flowers were darned on it from getting dirty. Then she would start.
A beautiful tone came from her direction. It was actually coming from her. Timothy was in awe of his mother’s presence when with her garden and the way she tended to it. She would hum. She would hum as if she was trying to convince the garden to grow. Grow tastefully and brightly, as if she were comforting the vegetables to not be afraid of coming into this world.
There Timothy would sit at the trunk of Tree. Butt planted down in the dirt and patches of grass that surrounded it. Tree was his friend. Tree was his confidant. Tree was his comfort.
“I like hearing mom when she hums Tree.” He would confide in all things real to himself. “She seems happy when she is with the garden and humming.” He never waited for a response from Tree. That would be silly. “I like it when mom is happy and I love to hear mom hum to her garden.”
Timothy tilted his head back to look up at Tree. He thought, maybe he could hum to Tree. So he cleared his throat and started to hum. He hummed one note, or he thought was a note, then stopped. What was he going to hum? Did it actually have to be a song that he knew? Or could he just make it up as he went along? This he needed advice on.
He pushed himself up from the ground. Stumbled in his clunky boots over to the aisle of veggies his Mother was sprucing up. He made sure to stop at the stake that held up the description of the vegetable. He stood there and paused. His Mother noticing him, “Yes Timothy?” He began, “Mom, I was wondering…” he paused again. His Mother lifted up the brim of her hat to look at him. Raised her head up, strays of dark brown hair slipping out of the sides of her yellow sunhat. “Wondering what?” She put down the trawl and wiped her glistening brow with the back of her wrist. She had to use her hand as a visor to protect her dark brown warming eyes from the sun while looking up at her only son. He was always so curious she thought. Again, “wondering what Timothy?” What out of this earth crazy question does he have for her this time. Timothy answered, “when you hum to your vegetables, what are you humming?” He kind of shifted his weight to one side and rested his hand on the stake. His Mother grinned with her perfect mouth. She didn’t realize she was humming to her vegetables, she didn’t know she was humming to anything really. “Well Timmy I guess I hum whatever comes to me.” Timothy looked confused, “a hum actually comes to you?” She continued, “I mean, I just hum what I feel. Sometimes my feelings come out in a way of a hum. Whether it be a sad hum, happy hum, a blissful hum. It all simply just depends on how I am feeling at that time.” She grabbed her trawl again. “There is no right or wrong way to hum my love. Try it!”
With that, Timothy backed away from the stake holding the cabbage description and sauntered back to Tree. He placed his hand on Tree’s trunk. “Ok Tree I am going to hum to you. I hope you like it.” He slumped down hard to the earth and landed on one of Tree’s roots which was popping out. Kind of lost his grip and slipped down onto his butt. This hurt, this made Timothy sad. A tear started to stream down his rosy heated cheek. He wiped his tear with his dirty hand leaving a dirt like streak as if he was in combat. He took a deep breath, cleared his throat, closed his eyes and started to hum. It was an out of tune hum. It was an all over the place hum. This frustrated Timothy, “Ok Tree this is harder than I thought.” He tried again. He was not successful.
Timothy took a break. He thought ‘maybe I can hum what Mom is humming’. He shuffled out from under Tree to get a better listen. He sat legs crossed, elbows on his knees, and chin in his hands. Looked across to the garden. He concentrated hard on what his Mom was humming. Her tune was a beautiful blissful tune. She was digging and pulling the beets out of her garden. It looked as if she coordinated her pulling out the beets to her humming. Her hum would get louder as each beet was yanked out of the ground. Like it was a reward for her determination to get out that beet! Then her hum would quieten down when that prized beet was placed into the bucket. “Hmmmmm….HMMMM….hmmm.” Dig, YANK and place. “Hmmmmm….HMMMM….hmmm.” Dig, YANK and place.
Timothy turned himself around on his bottom to look at Tree. It was a windy day. A nice hot and windy day. Timothy watched Tree’s branches dancing in the wind. Side to side. His eyes followed the branches back and forth. Back and forth. Hands placed on his knees, took a breath, pressed his lips together and began to hum. Timothy’s eyes widened! A tuneful hum had come out of him! “Tree! I did it!” He continued on humming. “All I had to do was coordinate my hum to your branches blowing in the wind! Like I was making your branches dance in the wind with my tuneful musical hum! I WAS making your branches move to my hum.” He said it with determination and pride. Matter of factually as a matter of fact.
Timothy ran over to the garden and tip toed down the beet aisle to his Mother. “Mom! Mom! I did it. I hummed!” His Mother smiled, “see T Bob. I knew you could do it! What was it that helped?” Timothy squatted down by his Mom. “I saw that when you were humming, your hands were following what you were humming. Like when you were pulling out the beets.” His Mother’s eyes raised. Questioned, “what was I doing when I pulled out the beets?” He answered, “it was like ‘dig, YANK and place.’ Your hum would start out soft to make you dig, then get louder to make you yank out the beet, and then soften again to make you place the beet in the bucket.” She giggled a giggle that she tried NOT to giggle, “ooohhh! I see. So my humming commands what to do?” Timothy was so excited and he was started to lose his balance “mm hmm!” His Mom grabbed his arm and helped prop him back up. She didn’t want him falling and knocking over her bucket of beets! He continued again “Mmm hmm! You see whenever I would see you garden. I thought it was your humming making your garden grow.” He placed his hand on her shoulder, “you see Mom, you can’t just hum, you have to hum with purpose!”