by In All Our Years
The word garden is a noun referring to a piece of ground, often near a house, used for growing flowers, fruit, or vegetables, but I did not know this … I did not know a lot of things, but perhaps in time I would …
I found myself in a damp and dark place the other day. I was comfortable and sometimes warm, but completely surrounded by darkness. My belly had been tingling for a few days and I was not sure what to do or what to expect. I could not move, but found comfort in the changes that were happening to me.
Something was changing around me and within me. My damp and dark surroundings became drier and airy and one day, I felt the sun and a breeze. I could barely see, but I began to fall in love with my little spot. There was light and day and then dark and night. On some days it would be very hot. I would become thirsty, but my feet held firm to the ground and I would hope for rain and it would come and revive me.
As days and nights would come and go, I would grow and as my sight became clearer, I could see more of my surroundings. There were all sorts of others around me and below me. There were huge towering giants above me, some of which would shade me during the hot of the day. I was very grateful for them.
There were creatures flying all around and little critters crawling on the ground and I am sure I could feel something tickle my toes now and again and it felt good. I sipped from the earth and my body would nourish me as the light circled above me.
On many occasions I would see this woman roaming around my world. She wore a large hat and flowered dress and moved up and down, bending and dancing among the others around me. I sometimes saw her carry a bucket, but I could not see what was in it. All I could fathom was that for some reason, I was not allowed to ride in the bucket and frolic around the yard with her. I wondered about her and knew that she was somehow responsible for this world of mine.
And then there was this man. I would sometimes see him near the giants and sometimes they would pick him up and bring him to the sky. I wished I could go up there and see what they saw, but I was still very content with my little spot.
One day, something started to happen to me, there was something inside me, starting to grow and before I knew it my arms began to stretch up and away from my body and feet. There would be little birds come to visit me and these little buzzing bugs who would land and softly walk on my skin.
The light was bright and my body grew and on many a time, the woman with the bucket would come visit me and come close enough to kiss me. She would smile and sometimes reach down below and gather others and place them in the bucket. I wondered why and for what reason she would do this. There was so much I did not know.
As the year went on, the sun would become very hot and the man would cover the ground around me with a moist blanket. My feet would enjoy the shade from the sun and the nights would sometimes cry into earth. I knew the light would return and I would comfort the night during these times and together we would find harmony in the waiting.
Life was rather splendid as the days went on. My early days of being completely surrounded in darkness were almost forgotten. I had grown and blossomed and through some miracle or magic, had children arrive at my feet. They too had grown out of the earth and some of them arrived even far and away from me.
The giants continued to shade us in the day and the man would sometimes watch us all from above— as the woman would be frolicking about kissing us and caring for us and together we would continue to enjoy the light of the day and the dark of the night.
As my children grew, I could seem them change right in front of me. So young and alive enjoying the world as did I. In time, however, my feet and arms became tired and as much as I wanted to continue to enjoy this wonderful place, I knew that some day, I would need to go. Where, I do not know, but somehow and in some way, I knew I would be okay.
As I think back now, I recall my final day. The man who played with the giants came close to me. He carefully stepped among my children, all bright and alive. He knelt before me and tried to prune away the parts of me that no longer provided. He studied me and then stopped. He looked at the last little flower on my outstretched arm and kissed me. He reached down toward the earth and gently grabbed me and lifted me from the earth, my old and tired feet finally released from the darkness and now floating and free.
I asked him if he would do me a favor and he stopped and listened. I’d like to visit the giants with you, so I can see all of this … all of this world that you and the woman have made for me and for my children.
He sat with me in his arms and we talked for a while. He answered all my questions and even told me about the bucket. I was content and my life had been very enjoyable. He then showed me something. On the tip of one of my stems was a small wilted flower and a small round pod. He told me that it was part of me and that we could do something special it. I listened and smiled.
He then stood and took me with him. He went to gather the bucket from the woman and placed me in it. I was going for a ride. We walked toward the giants and they picked us up … up … and up toward the sky. I could not believe what was there, below me.
The ground below all covered in colors of green and blues, purples and pinks, whites and reds, orange and yellows. Off in the distance I could see horizons of blue and white. The air was fresh and full and the light gently warmed us.
We sat in the giant for a while and then he spoke to me and said he would take the small round pod and give it to the giant. The giant had a small patch of earth that had been wanting for a friend and companion. I understood now. I had lived a full life and knew that my time was done- but I also knew that I would wake again and that some day, I would be high in the sky, resting in the hands of a giant.
I would one day look around and down to earth below where the woman with a bucket would be kissing the flowers and where the man would perhaps one day be picked up again to visit with me.
The word garden is a noun referring to a piece of ground, often near a house, used for growing flowers, fruit, or vegetables… I know this now-
.. and now I know what a bucket is and … I have ridden in one too