The Rogue Leaf



A memory, that became a thought, that became a realisation…

This leaf for the purpose of my story is a basil leaf. I decided that for today’s contribution to the Buddha Rocks Project I would use the first photograph that spoke to me and write about it in any format that came to my mind at that precise moment. This post is not poetry. It is simply what my first line here describes.

When I was 11 years old in my first year at high school I was making tomato and basil soup in a cookery class. I enjoyed the process a great deal because we worked individually and I could daydream and get lost in my thoughts as I spent an hour or two making something I could then take home to my Mum and share. Alone time creating with a sociable conclusion. At the end of the class we each showed the teacher our finished product. I distinctly remember the moment my heart sank. I noticed that whereas I had put the basil leaves into the soup whole and uncut, everyone else had chopped them finely and incorporated them into the mix. The teacher saw my face fall and quickly told me it really didn’t matter when she realised my concerns. We hadn’t been told to chop the basil, she had told me. It was up to us to decide what we did with it. Seeing that I was the only person in the class to have not chopped the leaves the shy, awkward perfectionist in me decided I had ruined it. I despised being different. My cheeks blushed quite possibly as deep as the tomato blend I held to my chest in that moment. So home I went with my ‘not quite right’ tomato soup. I considered throwing it away but my Mum knew I would be cooking it that day and had already decided we would have it for supper with some fresh bread. When I arrived home she asked me for the flask and I reluctantly gave it to her. I remember her asking me what was wrong and I told her that I had ‘ruined the soup’ because the basil was left whole.  She smiled. The smile that often told me without words that she understood her perfectionist of a daughter. I told her she may need to remove the offending leaves but she didn’t reply – just offered another smile. So, later that evening I sat at our dining room table waiting whilst Mum warmed the soup. I tried to distract myself with a book I was reading at the time, and scrunched the table cloth between my finger and thumb – a nervous habit I still have as an adult with anything material that is within my reach. Snapped out of my thoughts a bowl of tomato and basil soup was laid down on the table in front of me. There it sat, in all its mushy glory, with a basil leaf laid in the centre.

I looked up. Again, she just smiled…

What is the purpose of this post? I’ll let you draw your own conclusion if you’ve got this far with me. Thank you for reading…



This post was inspired by the picture ‘Pinholes’ by Buddha Rocks for Day 3 of the Buddha Rocks Project hosted by Evelyn

You can find more pictures by Buddha Rocks by following this link


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Indigo Spider
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 22:11:33

    You have the sweetest mum in the world!! This brought a big smile to my face, thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. Billie Jo Woods
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 22:23:35

    This is such a lovely story and lesson. Do you still put the basil in whole?


  3. Evelyn
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 22:24:51

    How gloriously intriguing…
    a lovely chunk of you.


  4. Eric
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 22:39:35

    A personal and personable story, Very nice!


  5. Paul McGovern
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 15:04:09

    So very you, wonderful story : )


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