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The Walk of Life

There is beauty behind the shadows that dance across the red brick pathway of the garden. Like beauty, they last only a gasp, a breath, a sigh before they disappear into the darkness. These patches of heaven twirl like angelic petals as the wind rustles through evergreen giants and triangle palms, leaving the kaleidoscope shadows to dance freely over my shoes, my skin, my lips. I inhale the sharp scent of dark, wet soil as a gust of wind whispers wordless nothings into my ear. I close my eyes, and yet I see the leaves of the bismark palms around me; the sound of the light snow of small petaled leaves and of the moaning oak are bliss. Sound, scent, touch, guide my steps through this walk of life.    

A light drizzle dews over my eyelashes and as I glance up; the sky faces me with a forlorn look. It seemingly chants, “Rains a’coming. Time’s a’coming. Death. Knock. Knock. Knock.” The lurking gray clouds overflow my soul from the rim of hidden memories into the murky current of the canal of calamity. Raindrops fall over my cheek like teardrops, leaving behind the wetness of death. They flow like the images of white lilies, burning candles, and black Sunday shoes. I close my eyes and remember I couldn’t bare to look at her; they told me it was better if I didn’t. The sun would set and rise again, but the world would always be shadowed. I open my eyes and run my fingertips over the foxtail palm, lightly skimming the rough bark. Although now it is effortless, waking up and falling asleep was like swimming against the current to reach peace on the shore. Everyday, I would swim, holding my breath, gasping for air and praying for the shore that would save me from the woeful waters. My hand falls by my side as the gray clouds pass over the sun, the same way her soul passed over, leaving the sun, her, in the sky.

I keep moving forward, in the garden, in life. One foot over the other, my weight balanced on the left, right, left, right. The crisp, distinctive scent of mint and yerbabuena lures me to brush their dark, velvety leaves over my nose, taste their coolness over my tongue. I tilt my eyes to the sky and am taken back into my grandmother’s garden, with her warm eyes, her  straw hat, and my size five Dora the Explorer boots. I crouch down to touch the blood, the earth of the garden, its cool soil reminding me of the timelessness of her Eden’s garden and the feeling of the sun kissing my forehead, with her warm arms wrapped around me. Her laughter rings in the air as a cotton ball is wisped around the clear blue sky, taking with it the memories of my cold cheek warmed by the morning sun as the clouds would part for her arrival after the morning star. In every leaf, in every petal, in every breeze, her memory winds through to the tangible world around me, the spiritual world around me, the beautiful world.




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