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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Rey


" Gardens ", mixed media, by Catherine Rey

They had gardens. Gardens as round as eggs and enclosed like nests bounded by branches in which they walked and conversed. They followed straight alleys lined with trees, alleys without surprises, alleys without obstacles. Riveted by their thoughts, they thought. They listened to the wind, exchanging a few words not on earthly concerns but on their inner seasons.

There were ponds reflecting the skies where carps glided. They sat on the grassy bank, taking each other's hand in silence, and if a poet came to mention the virtues of a garden nestled in its enclosure of twigs, they were delighted to be told that a nearby bamboo grove was rustling in the breeze shuddering as gently as an old trembling hand since words make many rooms in the soul where one can return long after the book has been closed.

They had gardens as harmonious as on the first day and there, they were praying to the Lord who had created the grass and the flower, the stones and the earth, the carp and the sparrow. It was a kingdom nestled in the woods, a living edifice God had given them and where they had entered before falling asleep watching the embers glowing in the hearth, always exchanging on the seasons of their souls.

They had gardens where grew apple trees. They waited all winter to see their tender blossoms so delicate on the gnarled branches for dawn and dusk lived abreast, and spring always returned in the garden except for them whose spring was forever gone.

And yet, each time they entered the garden, they smiled. They exchanged a few words on the seasons of their soul, the young amazed that one could grow old, the old stupefied to have become old, but glad to be leaving soon the theater of the world, tired and happy to bow out to laughter and applause.

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