One of my friends is preparing for GRE and has been throwing new words at us each day, and I for one am loving it. Learning a new word is almost akin to eating creamy caramel pudding with coffee sauce.(Well people who know me will understand my fixation with this!)

Each new word, like a tasty morsel to be rolled around on your tongue, savoured and saved in memory , in wait for an occasion to use it! (I am in love with ‘Hiraeth’ and ‘syzygy’…now go find out the meanings…’cos I am not telling you 😉 )

Also, have you experienced how some words embody their meanings…like ‘slaughter’, it invokes images of blood and gore, or it could be ‘nefarious’ and I can only think of ‘Kroor Singh’ . Words have a special way of bringing back memories. Some words can trigger an entire train of thoughts!

So, sometime today, I chanced upon this word – ‘allegory’ and that led to me remembering reading out ‘Little Men’ by Louisa May Alcott to my son.

There is a story in that and it goes something like this:

“This great gardener gave a dozen or so of little plots to one of his servants, and told him to do his best and see what he could raise. Now this servant was not rich, nor wise, nor very good, but he wanted to help because the gardener had been very kind to him in many ways. So he gladly took the little plots and fell to work. They were all sorts of shapes and sizes, and some were very good soil, some rather stony, and all of them needed much care, for in the rich soil the weeds grew fast, and in the poor soil there were many stones.”

“What was growing in them besides the weeds, and stones?” asked Nat; so interested, he forgot his shyness and spoke before them all.

“Flowers,” said Mr. Bhaer, with a kind look. “Even the roughest, most neglected little bed had a bit of heart’s-ease or a sprig of mignonette in it. One had roses, sweet peas, and daisies in it,” 

“I knew he meant us!” cried Demi, clapping his hands. “You are the man, and we are the little gardens; aren’t we, Uncle Fritz?”

“You have guessed it. Now each of you tell me what crop I shall try to sow in you this spring, so that next autumn I may get a good harvest out of my twelve, no, thirteen, plots,” said Mr. Bhaer, nodding at Nat as he corrected himself.

“He means things to make us good; and the weeds are faults,” cried Demi, who usually took the lead in these talks, because he was used to this sort of thing, and liked it very much. (Demi calls such stories ‘arregories’ and that never fails to elicit laughter from my son!)

And all this leads me to a little story of my own!

After reading this story out, we were all discussing what would be the good seeds (an allegory to good habits) that we would like to sow in our gardens…My sister spoke about making up her mind to wake up earlier, I wanted to sow seeds of patience and then we asked my son, what he would want to grow in his patch of garden. He thought about it for a while and said that he would want to be less shy and speak to people…

I know it doesn’t sound like much, but for a six-year-old to be able to analyse and introspect and express what he needs to cultivate is amazing! (Alert: Proud Mommy speaking. 😀 ).

But it also brought forth something else…that everyone of us has the ability to introspect. It had me wondering whether as we age, do our egos also grow which prevents us from seeing what is really lacking within us..that we start to perceive ourselves infallible?

Still mulling over it and resolved to try and be honest about my shortcomings to myself at least!

New words, some soul-searching and a long winding story….happy weekend y’all..