This doesn’t feel like the first time I’ve walked through this garden, even if the gate hangs with a different name. The scent of potential hung over you like petrichor drawn in deep and lingering long after the thunder. Half-constructed trails meandered through the beds of saplings, seedlings, and sprouts before disappearing into mere suggestions of where they might continue. The promise of beautiful life elegantly displayed with artistry and love. Grappling to find the light. Just in need of some gentle tending to realize its magic for all to see.
I walked your cobblestones until they turned to dirt and brambled overgrowth. Poured heartfelt time into removing the obstructions so the sun could shine openly and feed the newness aching to reach the stars. Painstakingly watered while I worked, a labor of love. A dream of what was emerging. Marked new trails. Scattered endless new seeds. Coated all the leaves in a spray of herbs and words to drive the bugs away who would seek the generosity of your flesh. Cleared and cleared and cleared the brush, which grew back faster than I could ever seem to keep up with. When my back ached, my hands blistered, and my face was crisp from the sun, I kept at it.
You fed my soul in turn. Nourished my belief in all the possibilities as I saw the petals opening. Sweetly urged me through the darkness of inner nights with the simple innocent affection of new beginnings and growth. I saw shooting stars against my sometimes impenetrable blanket of desperation and fears You inspired me, challenged me, and loved me with bright flowers. Chittering laughter as the wind swept your fragile branches together while a dance of light scattered through your blossoming leaves. Your smile was dew in on grass blades refracting the sun and capturing the world in a sphere. You spoke to my heart as I labored to speak to yours.
I heard the flames crackling behind me as I left, and now all you are is ash.
I had no more water left to pour, no more energy left to give. My home garden needed my love as well, and all my time was spent drifting through yours. I failed to find the balance they both needed, and that failure had a heavy price.
Someday, I hope to walk past your arched entry, to see your name proudly gleaming in gold, friends, and admirers laughing while taking in all the beauty that you are. To know that you burst into life in my wake.
Not because of anything I did.
Because of the magic that has always been you.
Sometimes ash is a better gift than any human effort.
A clean field to start again.
It doesn’t mean I’m not sorry.
It doesn’t mean I don’t wish I’d had more to give.
Or that I hadn’t listened better as you tried to teach me how to tend you better.
Or that I’m not grateful for every moment I was privileged to spend inside your walls.
So very, I wish, I could have, and I am.
Even if you never see this….
….please know I will always love you.