Middle Path

Common App Essay


"Taking care of plants is a meticulous task. It’s not at all easy like people think, young lady. Do you see how these leaves were burnt by the sun? It gives this plant such a dislikable appearance. See how by pruning the burnt leaves, you’ll make it look alive again?"

Wandering around the terrace of my family’s new house, I met her. She had small figure, tanned skin, and faded hair. The clippers in her calloused fingers flitted from one leaf to another, chopping tiny bits of sun-burnt leaves. The gardener moved continuously, with her sparkling eyes fixed on the potted bougainvillea. The more she talked, the more animated she became, her words radiating positive energy. She was so focused, determined, enthusiastic about the subject that I couldn’t help being intrigued. I sat down next to her, sticking my hand in the bush and ripping off the burnt parts with my fingertips. Her attention moved to the sick Frangipane tree. “Oh dear these roots will be ruined! I’ll spray it tomorrow, but first aid is needed, still. First we cut off the rotten pieces of root, but be extremely careful. Otherwise, you’ll end up plucking up the whole roots…”

I wondered if I had ever felt that same way about anything; this woman had a fire inside her. I...

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