Back Through the Garden Gate ~ Three

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Only a week ago she would have asked the Gardener how to prune the roses cascading over her garden bench.

But she was on her own now and would have to figure out how to share the reading space with the plant or risk damaging it with her limited knowledge of pruning. No lasting harm had ever been inflicted before because of her ignorance, when she had no access to expert advice, and it was time to go back to learning by herself.

But that task would have to wait.

She’d found some time to sit and ponder, so she was taking it.  No work was ever done before she was renewed and refreshed.

The rose bushes had been planted by the previous tenant. Her one addition to the spot was the Corsican mint she’d planted around and beneath the bench. The tiny plants thrived in the moist yet slightly sandy soil. Her favorite moment of her silent experience, one which she saved for dawn every morning, was stepping on the ground cover as she approached the bench. She would wait for the smell of the fragrant mint to creep up and settle in with her as she closed her eyes and listened for the birds. Once filled, she would focus on the milkweed a few yards away, adjusting her eyes to see the butterflies, if there were any, sleeping beneath the leaves, waiting for the sun. She knew they wouldn’t be flying ’til they were warmed and able to escape hungry birds, so sometimes she’d have to come back twice in the day to watch them.

But it had been a long time since she’d been here in the sunlight. That is, until last week when all of her free time came back to her as an unexpected gift to use as she pleased. And sitting here is what pleased her the most.

She’d been blessed with a peace that grew stronger every day. Her family was doing well without the fruit that she thought they’d needed, and her heart was filling with a different kind of love, one that had always existed and would never die, one that didn’t depend on other people filling her needs.

She spent her days remembering without meaning to, and forgetting, not noticing how easy it was to live in the present.However, the  lilies at the footbridge that were probably near dead by now would call to her every now and then.

The Gardener told her that he didn’t check his mail thoroughly if at all some days. That saddened her because the neglect would kill them, but the gift was given and no longer her responsibility.She’d done no better with her gift, as she’d let her potted peony sit on her steps languishing in the hot sun for days.It was time to plant it so that its roots could stretch and strengthen the plant. But instead of transplanting it in her garden she set it outside of her picket fence with a note attached:

” Please give me a loving home.”

Within an hour it was gone. She’d watched with melancholy through her bedroom window as her gift was re-gifted to a passing woman and her child.

Pulling a book from her bookshelf, she sat on her bed, opening it in search of a blank page. Carefully she plucked off some peony petals from the cutting sitting in the teacup across from her and placed them between the pages. Whatever found itself on the pages of that book became a buried treasure that she’d be able to find and enjoy when she needed it.
Closing the book she read the cover before slipping the it between the mattresses. She’d written the title herself years ago on a whim. Just one word that meant everything:
Simultaneously, another woman held a key in her hand. It had fallen to the ground when she’d removed the peony from its pot in order to put it in its new home. She’d hesitantly picked up the orphaned plant an hour ago while walking and after reading the pleading note stuck in its leaves. Looking at the tag attached to the key she was perplexed and amused at the same time. There were two lines written in black marker.
One was an address.
The second line seemed like an invitation.
“If you ever need a friend.”

3 thoughts on “Back Through the Garden Gate ~ Three

  1. Pingback: Back Through the Garden Gate ~ Ending | What If Today...

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