The Garden

Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

I had never before seen a sleeping bee. Yet there it was, nestled among lavender petals. I could see the yellow pollen dusting the bee’s delicate wings. As I looked around, I could see other life in the garden settling down as well. The constant humming of bugs and rustling of the wind had faded just as the sky had turned into a dusky mix of blue, purple, and pink. The breeze is slowing down, I thought as it grazed my cheek.

The flowers were slowly nodding along with the gentle wind. The faint smell of summer hung in the air, coating everything with a sweet contentment. A tired sort of hopefulness had settled into my bones. I was 12 years old; on the edge of childhood, just beginning to venture into maturity. I didn’t feel quite like a person, more like a possibility.

My father had planted a garden, although I use the word garden loosely. The garden had started as dirt, riddled with rusty nails and old bottle caps. It felt like a malignant presence in our backyard. My father decided to change this. One day he let some seeds go free and we soon had our own field of wild flowers. They grew with an uncontained chaos, eventually overtaking our backyard.

Mexican sunflowers grow six feet high, with petals the color of the burning...

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