Posted by: morrowsl | April 4, 2015

The Garden – A found short story.

I am encouraged when I see the first green shoots coming up in the garden. It tells me that the things I put to bed last fall slept well in the deep winter.
All the work of lugging huge bags of mulch into and out of the car then dragging them around the yard and hoisting them high enough to shake the contents out onto plants grown tired of fighting the late summer heat.  A trail of sweat rolling down my neck and the furnace heat beating on my back while I toil.  Sitting in the shade to catch my breath.  Wondering if the effort will be rewarded.
Days of standing at the window watching the wind whipping bare tree limbs and listening to the front door howl.
Nights snuggled under the layers of covers, mulched in.

On the first warm day I’m out in the garden digging under the matted bits of wood and dirt searching for any signs of life.  I try not to be discouraged when I find none.  Some things are slower to wake than others.  I’ve not learned, in all my years, to watch the native plants for signs.  I want what I want when I want it.  My expectations are often too high.  The native plants are liars.

The trees are as dependable as the local weather forecaster.  They bud and bloom just in time for winter to come roaring back and shake them down.  It is a sad and oft-repeated story in these parts.  There’s no trusting trees.  Or local weather forecasters.

I cock my ear and listen for birdsong.  I scan the trees and grass for movement.  I load the feeders and hang them high.  I wait.

Suddenly, it seems that all the earth is filled with noise and color.  The air comes to life with the “chip, chip, chip” of Waxwings.  Overnight the berries have gone from green to red and bursting.  One quarter-hour feeding frenzy and it’s over.  Quiet ensues.  The waiting starts anew.

I wander from bed to bed.  I sit and sip lukewarm coffee.  I shiver with the breeze.

And then, just peeking out where yesterday there was only bare ground, signs of life.  The hand of an avalanche victim, reaching out to the sunlight.  I am here.  Can you see me?  All is well.


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