May 09, 2012

The Garden

The screen slides open with a creak, its wheels protesting the awakening from winter hibernation.  It is the first sweet spring day, and they know what that means.  He stands from his worn leather chair, knees and seams both groaning with age.  She sits in the kitchen, sifting through handwritten recipes and magazine cutouts, looking for anything she could prepare for dinner that night...again.  He climbs the step into the kitchen where she was.  The place she always is, he thought.
They don't have to say anything - the scent of spring and the thought of what that meant was enough to stir the memory.  Standing slowly and walking even slower, she retrieves his coat.  Scratchy, worn wool tickling her delicate, but work-calloused hands, his still-strong arms find their holes as she helps him put the coat on.  She gets her scarf, still resting on the piano bench from the recent winter outings.  
The screen door takes some coaxing, but he manages to open it wide enough that both of them can go out together, supporting each other down the two concrete steps to the patio.  Though the walk to the garden is only a short way away, she tucks her arm in his, and his scratchy coat brushes her wrinkled cheek.  She smiles at that.  He had always told her they were the perfect height for each other - her head resting on his arm and his chin resting on her head.  
Their steps were slow...much slower than they used to be when they would chase each other around the house - just the two of them - until he would catch her and tickle her.  Then, when their babies were born, they would play tag in the backyard, while the dandelions and clover glowed with evening sunlight.  
They are headed for the bare patch in their yard.  In the black dirt, not a weed is to be seen, for the ground has been so well cared for that weeds are afraid to come back.  This is his and this is hers.  This patch that looks so neglected and exposed - they have seen it full of life and provision.  They have dug hands down into clumped ground, tossed seeds into hand-plowed rows, and pulled weeds for hours.  This is the place where they taught their children to reap what they sow, and that hard work is rewarding.   
The Garden.  It is their constant in this physical life.  It does not suffer from heart attacks or cancer; it does not lose its friends one by one; it does not forget its grandchildren's names and birthdays.  This haven is their place of simplicity.  Each day, the shoots become plants, and the buds become produce, while the planters grow weaker and their love grows stronger.  And in the summer, when the green beans plants are tall and tangled, the hot wind blows.  Those green bean plants whisper a song that he says to her everyday.  Stay with me.  One more day.  My beloved.  The garden sings it as well, for somehow, it knows that the planters are forgetting about their haven.  It has had a good life.
*Inspired, in part, by my grandparents and the spring gardening I've been doing.
*Photos of our early garden!  
*Look for more fiction from me soon.  I'm in a writing mood!

29 comments:

  1. "Their steps were slow...much slower than they used to be when they would chase each other around the house - just the two of them - until he would catch her and tickle her."
    that part about made me cry. this is beautiful. inspiring, enchanting, and i want this to happen to me. lovelovelove.
    -jocee <3

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  2. wow, girl i love your writing! so beautiful and meaningful! so so great. :)

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  3. Beautifully written, and that second photo is simply BEAUTIFUL :)

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  4. I LOVE these photographs, they're so pretty with the light :)

    Gina X

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  5. Beautiful. :) reminds me of my grandparents. :)

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  6. "the planters grow weaker and their love grows stronger."
    uhm, love. this was so, so gorgeous Olivia! I would love to hear more of this kind of writing. and your photos--well, they may be some of my favorites of yours. simply stunning. ahh, that light. ♥

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  7. woah. like, that's all I can say. woah.

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  8. ohh..you have a way with words my friend!
    loved this ;)

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  9. Just wow. :) That was beautifully magical...Your writing is really clear, you can make a picture with it, and it also shows the emotion between them! I would love it if you wrote more of this type of thing! Love, LOVE LOVE! :) <3

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  10. This is so beautiful Olivia! :) and these pictures are all so whimsically beautiful! :)

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  11. What a wonderful post. I so enjoyed reading that, and your photos are lovely. :)

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  12. this is beautiful! I can't wait to read more from you :)

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  13. This was so engagingly beautiful Olivia! You write so very well.

    I'm looking forward to reading more of your fictitious stories!

    Blessings!

    ~Madi

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  14. This is sooo lovely, Olivia! Both the story and the photos. I hope you post more stories!

    Blessings,
    Emily.

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  15. wow. this is so beautiful, photos and words and all. you're a great writer!
    -kinga

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  16. That is beautiful. Both the photos and story and as Jocee said, I want this to happen to me someday :)
    Please keep writing and sharing with us!!!

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  17. This is gorgeous! You are an amazing author.

    Emilie

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  18. this is so beautiful!! I love your writing :) and the pictures are gorgeous!

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  19. this was beautiful. I could picture it exactly. love how you paired the writing with the photographs! I need to set aside time to just sit and write...looking forward to more from you!

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  20. What beautiful writing! I love the pictures as well. You have such a talent! I can't wait to read more from you!

    xxo. Jazzie // www.jsheaa.blogspot.com

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  21. oh goodness, this is magical! your words took me to another world. keep writing dear. so, so good.

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  22. i adore this. everything about it. and you should publish that story -- the way you write is so tender and graceful. i love it.

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  23. First time visit here, loving it already. Keep writing, you're good at it!

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  24. I swear, I thought I already commented on this! This is such a beautiful post Olivia. Very moving. You're sooo good at writing! :)

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  25. I LOVE these pictures!! The sunlight is beautiful. New follower!

    Jo

    joannadell.blogspot.com

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  26. What a BEAUTIFUL post! Gorgeous Garden... <3

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  27. goodness this is so amazing! you have an amazing talent.

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