A travel moment in Eden


I rarely travel. I have, in fact, never left the country. It’s my greatest dream to see the world, to experience the places, cultures, foods, and people just outside my hometown and the consumer-based conformity that seems to drive my country.

On the other hand, there is the money issue, the schedule issue, and, most immobilizing, the
“oh-my-gosh-my-baby-wants-to-go-where-for-how-long?!?!?!” parental issue that prohibits even the occasional cross-state adventure.

I have never seen the ocean or a mountain, or lions and tigers outside the zoo. Travel, however, is in the eye of the beholder…

Encompassed by a tall wooden and worn fence, the little impulsive Eden was breath-taking. Turning your back on the sickly brown “greenery” a dry summer had liberally applied to the rest of that
universe, you couldn’t help but gasp at the sight. Screaming pulsating green, almost too vibrant and lush compared to the dehydrated world around it, was splayed across pure black loam. Leaves and flowers fragranced the air with the smell of earth and thyme. While the rest of the world sweltered beneath the fluid blanket of humid air, the atmosphere there was cool and soft and smooth. Shoes would have been blasphemous: only bared feet could tread on the chilled stone steps.
Balance was key as vines leaped to entangle the limbs of incautious passerby as they stooped to smell a flower or absentmindedly swat a fly.

This garden was without the ease and grace of one created solely by nature. It was the best man, or a little girl who could barely push a wheel-barrow, could accomplish. I had spent the last 3 years building up the soil, 2 years cultivating it for everything it was worth, and hundreds of hours planning and creating. It had all gone into this modest garden. All it took was $10 of seeds that year, and I had created a small slice of paradise in the cookie-cutter monotony of my subdivision. This was my reward.

I have not gone abroad or seen the world, but I have seen a jungle. I have not ever gone far, but I would argue that, for some unforgettable travel moments, you don't have to: they can be found inside your own fence.

W La Fleur

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