Where the path began to climb, the garden widened, as if opening its arms in welcome. A slight breeze gently animated the garden, swaying the weeping willow branches, and causing low notes of wind chimes to fill the air. Filtered sunlight made its way through the tree branches, casting shadow and light among the plants. Miranda brushed her hand against a clump of pink astilbes, their feathery plumes illuminated by a shaft of light.
She gestured for William to take the lead up the tiered steps. Though she couldn’t see his face, she could tell that he was taking it all in, pausing in front of some her favorite things: the wrought iron chair entwined with ivy, the birdhouses and birdbaths scattered throughout. He paused to look at the rustic benches and tables, the clusters of flowers. When they came upon the goldfish pond, he turned and smiled at her.
“My son and Ben made that for me one Mother’s Day. And Ben added the little bridge a few years back. Ben’s an architect, you know, and enjoys carpentry.”
William stopped to run his hand over an old sundial, its base nestled in a cloud of cobalt blue lobelia. He seemed to enjoy spotting the almost hidden clay sculptures peeking out from clumps of flowers: winged figures, tiny houses, rabbits, birds. He stopped and looked back over the garden. “It’s beautiful. Interesting.”
Miranda smiled out at her garden, delighted that he understood. Over the years, she had shown it to many different people. Some of them loved it and felt at home in it – others were seemingly indifferent, or commented on the bother of weeding or the cost of upkeep, which let her know that they didn’t really see it.
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