Community Gardens
rating: +8+x

Sodium lamps cast a sickly pallor over the paved streets below. It's been a while since I've been on this road, but it's still quite familiar to someone like me. I've probably ridden down these streets a hundred times before, cloaked in the darkness of night and the chill of winter. Each storefront, each sign, it's all quite familiar to me by now. I still take time out of my day to find something new. It's a healthy practice.

Tonight, I decide to rest my aching bones in a community garden, on the way home. Though fenced in and secured with a lock, the gate slips open as if it were expecting my intrusion. There are no benches for me to rest on, and so I take my seat on the rough, porous brick which lines each planter bed. The night is mild and the wind blows gently against my long hair, rustling the leaves of the various plants ever so gently.

I still taste the lavender tea we drank together those winter nights on your porch, and I feel the heat of the mug I held close to my chest, to warm my deadened fingers. A long time has passed since then, my beloved, and as much as I wish it was the case, I cannot now share those moments with you. Instead, I ride along the same roads I took to see you then, only now I pass by your house and wave to the window. There is no silhouette to greet me this time, and I ride past as quickly as I arrived. No use in sticking around.

My attention shifts from my memories and returns to the present. Outlined against the dark sky, the silhouette of a hawk descends upon a fir tree pasted across the tapestry of the night. The night sky is not nearly so blue as it used to be, now fading from yellow to orange to black, as late nights in the summer tend to do. When we used to sit together while we ate crappy pastries we had made and sipped tea to warm our cold bodies, the sky was the dark, stygian blue of Neptune. I often remarked on this fact, to your amusment. You always wondered why I cared so much about the color of the sky. I never really did have an answer for you then, and I don't suppose I have one now, either. If I had to guess, I cared because it was something beautiful, and a beautiful thing should never go to waste. I've always liked that idea, though I've never been able to preserve all the beauty in my life. A consequence of being human, I suppose.

My attention turns once more to the garden I find myself in. I run my hands along the leaves which find themselves brushing against my body, and I let myself be enveloped by them. To be held by the plants is better than to not be held at all, I figure. As I breathe in and out, each calming breath bringing me closer to the brink of stability, I see it.

In a planter bed across the garden, I see two pea plants having outgrown their trellis. Instead of sagging back to the support of their frame, the two plants had grown against each other, each vine lifting the other higher, until the two had ascended quite far beyond the bounds of the wooden framework. I find such a thing an inspiring sight if not somewhat melancholy. Two vines, destined for more than they were given, providing each other the support they need to thrive.

And you. My darling, I think of you when I see this dance of chlorophyll and cellulose. We are much more than plants, you and I, but we are in essence quite similar to these snow peas. Despite our limiting trellis, we took each other by the hand and made our own support; our own destiny. We held each other aloft, unconcerned the only footholds beneath our feet were the ones we built ourselves.

But darling, as I see these plants, I cannot help but think what would happen if those plants were to unravel. Should they separate, what would be holding them up? Would both vines collapse with no partner to hold them aloft? Or would the reinforcement provided through the ages allow the vine to remain in place regardless of its partner?

I ponder this question as I stare into the night sky, the vine wrapped around me beginning to unravel.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License