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Guille

New flowers in an old garden

As my dog runs around the garden of the apartment we just moved into, I feel the soft touch of the rain and smell how the earth gives off its esence back to heaven. The owner has been cleaning the area and cut a couple of small trees whose branches don´t seem to have hold fruit for a while and just lay as a reminder of long-gone springs. He promised he would clear the green area, but hasn´t had time to do so. Weed has grown to such height that I can only guess it´s been a while since someone took care of this piece of land and I notice that ivy has invaded most of the walls that sorround the garden, while moss grows secretly between cracks and stones.

I had not come down until now, this is the first time I set foot in this place, and even though my clothes and goods still await inside boxes all over the rooms, I let this moment take me back to a time when I didn´t feel the need to rush… a time when I didn´t have a cell phone in my pocket, no computer to check my mail, no keys to open doors, no cards to pay debts and consume, a time when things were less complicated.

My dog chews the branches of a little tree they cut recently and seems so busy and happy with it that I don´t want to take him back into the apartment, where I have a thousand things to do and very little time to get them done. Walking around the small garden I discover a nest that has probably fallen from one of those trees they cut, there is a tiny blue egg that has been cracked by some animal; this image reminds me of some of the things that happen when we humans run into nature and leave our print around: usually bad news for wild forms of life.

I see a row of ants carrying leaves towards their house and I smile while memories of following them to the entrance of those holes made me imagine becoming so small that I would fit in there and think what it would be like if I could walk around as one of them inside all the chambers and rooms. On the right wall a yellow bird comes to greet, its song sounds rather sad and I wonder if that is the mother who left the nest when the tree hit the ground, but I conclude that that would be too much of a coincidence, what do I know. The day isn´t as sunny as the ones we have had this week, but I am thankful for that, otherwise the smell of spring would not have hit me so heavily to take me to those places I had misplaced in my mind, not that I had forgotten them… I had simply not visited them for a long while.

Dandelions grow freely around, since nobody has done something to keep them from spreading, the yellow flowers have covered most of the ground. They are a very strong connection to the mornings when my mother told me to water the plants again and again, even though I had just done it… back then I didn´t understand that she just needed to keep me busy while she washed our clothes or cleaned the house. Later she would realize that asking me to water her flowers actually back fired, since I came with shoes and pants so wet and full of mud that she had extra work to do, I wish I had known better.

My dog barks and it takes me back to present day in Aachen and I remember that I have a lot of work ahead of me; however, I decide that I will try to take care of this garden, neglected by every person who lives here. I don´t really know what I will need, I don´t think it will look as good as the one my mother had, but at least I will try. This place deserves a chance most students cannot give it, but I understand, what student has time for flowers, grass, birds and ants? There are many other things that are much more important… right?

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