The Garden

August 17, 2008
By Jen Adcock, North Tonawanda, NY

The garden bloomed full in a day, rich greens overwhelming the sight. What was once a tangled, gnarled jungle was now a paradise, an oasis in a bleak cityscape. Branches soared upwards, letting tiny dots of sunlight poke through the leaves to the ground. Wildflowers of all colors shot up out of the green in a mottled mess. Purple here, red there, yellow over there with no regards for organization of aesthetics.

The rusted gate creaked open. She stepped onto the overgrown path. Her old house had been reclaimed by wilderness. The way it should be. She walked carefully past a bush of bee balm, not wanting to disturb the hummingbirds flitting nearby.

A ladybug landed on the back of her hand. She whispered a few words to it and it flew off, spreading the news to the other creatures of the garden.

She reached the front door, finding vines poking through the keyhole and wrapping around the door knob. With a gentle touch, the vines receded and she was able to push the door open. With a silent apology to the ants who had made the rotted door their home, she entered the house. She wasn't surprised by what she saw.

Wilderness had staked its claim over the building. A feral cat preened itself on the dusty recliner, birds flew in and out of a hole broken in the TV screen. Plants grew through shattered windows, coloring the darkened house. Moths hovered around long-dead light bulbs as if their light still shone.

For the first time in her own house, she felt at home.

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