Pay it forward STORIES: “The old lady and the seeds” “La historia de la anciana y sus semillas” (Reprinted from last year)


By now you already know that I like to collect stories and I am lucky enough to have received many from friends via emails. I always keep them to inspire me on those days when we need a “pick me up”. This story is also anonymous and I received it in Spanish. I thought it was worth while translating it to English so I hope you enjoy it.

This narrative illustrates how we can always do something however small to brighten someone’s day, to leave some color and beauty behind in passing. Once in a while, try doing some random acts of kindness just for the pure inner joy of doing it.Ribble_Vehicle_Preservation_Society_exhibition_bus_(PTF_727L),_MMT_Atlantean_50_event_(2)

The story goes like this:

Every day, a man took the bus to go to work. One stop later, an elderly woman would board the bus and sat next to the window.

The old woman opened a bag and during the whole trip she would pick something from the bag and throw it out the window.

She always did the same and one day, intrigued, the man asked her what she was throwing out the window.

– They’re seeds! – said the old woman.

– Seeds? What kind of seeds?

– Flowers seeds.  I look outside and everything is so empty … I would like to travel each day and see beautiful flowers all the way. Wouldn’t it be nice?

The man answered –but the seeds fall on the asphalt, they get crushed by cars, eaten by the birds  … Do you think your seeds will germinate beside the road?

-Surely yes! Although some may get lost, and some will end up in the ditch or get eaten by the birds; some eventually will come forth and bloom each year.

The man was perplexed and he argued: “But … it will take time to grow, they need to be watered”…

-“I just do what I can. The rainy days will come soon.”

While the old woman continued her work, the man got off the bus to go to work thinking that the old woman had partially lost her mind.

A few months later, the man was going to work as usual in the bus and when he looked out the window he saw beautiful flowers by the side of the road…

All the way as far as he could see, a splendor of colorful flowers was beautifying the scenery. He then remembered the old lady but it had been weeks since he last saw her. He asked the driver:- what about the old lady with her flower seeds?

-Well, unfortunately she died a month ago.

The man returned to his seat and continued looking out the window at the bright and vibrant scenery.”Indeed, the flowers have bloomed”, he thought, ‘but what was the purpose of all that work, she could not even see them bloom?”….

Suddenly, he heard the laughter of a small child. A little girl was pointing excited looking at the flowers … “Look dad! Look how many nice flowers!”


There is no need to explain the meaning of this story…

The old lady had had done her job and left her legacy to all who were receptive to admire the beauty and be happier for it.

As the story goes, since that day, they have seen the man on his usual trip from home to work with a bag of seeds, throwing them out the window of the bus.

(Author unknown)

So, don’t stop sowing good things.Someone will always benefit reaping what you sow….




 Había una vez ……

Un hombre que subía cada día al autobús para ir al trabajo. Una parada después, una anciana subía al autobús y se sentaba al lado de la ventana


La anciana abría una bolsa y durante todo el trayecto, iba tirando algo por la ventana, siempre hacía lo mismo y un día, intrigado, el hombre le preguntó que era lo que tiraba por la ventana.

– ¡Son semillas! – le dijo la anciana .

– ¿Semillas? ¿Semillas de qué?

– De flores es que miro afuera y está todo tan vacío…Me gustaría poder viajar viendo flores durante todo el camino. ¿Verdad que sería bonito?

Pero las semillas caen encima del asfalto, las aplastan los coches, se las comen los pájaros… ¿Cree que sus semillas germinarán al lado del camino?

Seguro que sí. Aunque algunas se pierdan, alguna acabará en la cuneta y, con el tiempo, brotará.

Pero…tardarán en crecer, necesitan agua …

Yo hago lo que puedo hacer. ¡Ya vendrán los días de lluvia!

La anciana siguió con su trabajo … Y el hombre bajó del autobús para ir a trabajar, pensando que la anciana había perdido un poco la cabeza .

Unos meses después… Yendo al trabajo, el hombre, al mirar por la ventana vió todo el camino lleno de flores…

¡Todo lo que veía era un colorido y florido paisaje!

Se acordó de la anciana, pero hacía días que no la había visto. Preguntó al conductor : ¿La anciana de las semillas?

  • Pues, ya hace un mes que murió.

El hombre volvió a su asiento y siguió mirando el paisaje.

«Las flores han brotado, se dijo, pero ¿de que le ha servido su trabajo? No ha podido ver su obra».

De repente, oyó la risa de un niño pequeño. Una niña señalaba entusiasmada las flores… ¡Mira, padre! ¡Mira cuantas flores!

¿Verdad que no hace falta explicar mucho el sentido de esta historía?

La anciana de nuestra historia había hecho su trabajo, y dejo su herencia a todos los que la pudieran recibir, a todos los que pudieran contemplarla y ser más felices.

Dicen que aquel hombre, desde aquel día, hace el viaje de casa al trabajo con una bolsa de semillas que và arrojando por la ventanilla.

(Autor anónimo)

Asi que no dejes de sembrar cosas buenas… Alguien siempre recogerá tu siembra….




4 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    Really nice story, makes you stop and think!


  2. Joe Bell, was a sea captain in NC and did this exact thing-hence we have “Joe Bell” flowers all along the coast!


  3. Oh wow! I didn’t know! Maybe this is where this story derives. I will look into Joe Bell and maybe I will do a blog in your honor about this! Thank you!!! 🙂


  4. LindaP says:

    Love this story!


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