The Grove

August 25, 2012
The rain drops dripped in an incessant pattern. Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.
Talia could listen to their calming melody forever.
She came here to think, in the concealed grove of maple trees and other vegetation that was hidden to the other residents of the booming business industry that was Seattle, Washington.
Talia’s little paradise was located in the more run-down side of town, that most of the preppy, upper class citizens avoided like the plague. It had sprouted in the most intriguing spot, in the tiny, vacant, dirt lot between an old deserted building, and the cheap inn, whose lights on its sign flashed inconsistently, with multiple letters always in need of repair. Today, only a few letters were lit.
The various plants now decorating this previously shabby, neglected space had always amazed Talia. Somehow, with dry, arid looking soil, and little care, these plants had persevered, and were now thriving in the home they had created for themselves. What had once been a barren, gloomy, and lifeless piece of land was now a colorful, healthy, flourishing community of foliage, and the occasional animal that sought refuge there. Maples trees of green and red stood tall and strong, their shadows cast upon the shorter wildflowers, whose bright and vivid colors encompassed the space, and were a stark contrast to the dull color of the soil. Other plants also shared the space, including anomalies such as the Venus fly traps that occupied the outer rides of the plot, thriving in the dry soil, and snacking on the odd fly here and there. Various weeds had also sprouted up, finding themselves a home where they wouldn’t be pulled up, and tossed aside, adding to the diverse collection that the field was.
On many occasions, Talia would come here and wonder who had planted these seeds. She was an intelligent girl; she knew better than to believe that the plants had just sprouted up on their own. She could pick out the details added by a green thumb; plants in rows, the alignments of the trees, and so on. Talia wondered if they had stood here like her, thinking, standing here rain or shine, and taking in the beauty around them. Had they also enjoyed image of something so beautiful in the midst of such a neglected place?
The beauty of the little garden washed over her anew each time she sought it out, to collect her thoughts, ponder her problems, or just to appreciate the setting around her.
Talia didn’t spend the majority of her time at the mall, or at some sports game like the other girls at her high school. She didn’t see what about it grabbed their interest. She wasn’t like the other girls at her school at all. Her long brown hair and makeup-less face was a contrast to their styled blonde tresses, and more makeup than a Maybelline ad. They might find her weird, but Talia was proud of her independence and at the end of the day, the field’s beauty was worth it.
The field was her own special place; she hadn’t shared it with anyone, and had no plans to do so. She had a fear that people would want to tear it down, build something in its place. It would break Talia’s heart if after all their hard work and perseverance to stay alive, the plants were pulled up and killed, especially for something stupid like another cheap, seedy bar.
So the little garden stayed a secret. Talia yearned to take someone special by the hand, and lead them to the garden, to share all its beauty with them, but she had not yet met anyone who she believed would value the magnificence, and understand the wonder that it was, not the way she did. Who else in her vain community would appreciate it?
Some would say that Talia was lonely, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. She was surrounded by the comforting maples, and the smiling wildflowers on a daily basis. She felt such vibrancy, such life being emitted from the plants. Sometimes she would talk to them, confiding her problems with the plants, feeling as though they were listening, as if the sway of one of the violet flower in her direction was a nod of agreement towards her. Sometimes, she needed to talk to someone, or something that would just listen, and wouldn’t judge her.
The garden gave off such serenity. The plants would sway gently in the wind, dance in the rain, and shine in the sun. Talia would arrive after a tense day that had left her exhausted and stressed, and would instantly feel relaxed and refreshed. It was a magical feeling.
Talia checked the time on her watch, moving her drenched brown locks out of her face, and brushing off the rain drops that had gathered on it. The clock read 4:39. She sighed. She would be expected to be home soon, to help her parents prepare dinner in their sterile, clear, plant-less house. Talia took one last longing look at her oasis. Then she began her trek home. She’d be back tomorrow.

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