by Madeline Laughs
I am alone nestled deep within my garden.
On my knees.
I reach down to tug at the weeds that have taken over portions of the soil.
This feels right to me.
This feels whole to me.
I smooth my brow with the back of my hand and pull the brim of my sun hat closer to my eyes. The feeling of the cool ground beneath my knees is soothing and I lean in further. I relax my legs until they are connected, rooted.
I embrace the earth, just as she embraces me. I allow her under my nails and across my skin. She smears my arms and legs with the evidence of her time spent close to me. She marks me as her own. She leaves behind a musky, green scent that mixes with my own perspiration and becomes exhilarant.
The bright sun beats down on us both and teases the seeds to rise up and become the most familiar to us. Once small enough to fly out of my palm with a gentle breeze, now they stand towering over my head in all their lush glory.
I am only the channel to push them back in to where they belong.
The sun warms my skin as I lean into and become entrenched in my garden.
A summer storm makes haste to sweep the day into misty magic. The sky darkens and the thunder roars. The wind picks up pace and the temperature cools and the earth receives it’s baptism from the heavens.
Large, delicious drops scatter and splash down on me just as if I were a part of the process. Just as I am a part of the cycle, I am washed and annointed with cloudburst. The rain replenishes the earth as it quenches my thirst.
I turn my face towards the shower. I close my eyes. I let the rain caress me, drip down on me, envelope me, until I am also rain. Curling around the long tendrils of my hair it loosens all that was tidy. My sun hat withers and allows the rain to tickle my back and wet my breasts. The earth dances all around me as tiny teardrops bounce and mingle. The leaves open, the flowers relax and all rejoice in their souls for the cleansing.
Wash away my sin. Wash away my sadness. Wash it all away.
I stay nestled within the safe haven of all that surrounds me. I am invisible. I am impervious. I am invincible in my garden.
I lean close. I tend the earth. Just as she has tended me.
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