When I open the door I expect the garden to be there. It would not shift in the night. That is just not the garden’s style.

First I visit the olive trees which, in the morning, stand and sparkle with a.m. light next to my front door, as though they had been rehearsing to show me their newest skills. When I move toward the front yard I try to spot what the roses have cooked up: four rose bushes and two more hidden from first glance but helping in the background. I know they whisper among themselves dreaming up new ways to “resonate” each morning greeting me with some new outrageous combination of their colors, their size and number. In the back, the maples, wild roses and bougainvillea are where they should be, but I am convinced that in some secret hour, each and every night, they pull up their skirts and dance around the deck and tea house. After the cotillion they return, slipping their hems back into the earth. During the dance our cat comes in and nudges us, frightened by the ritual outside.

The shade master, elm, and oak—the big trees—look down and encourage. They take in the wind and expel it with low and breathy coaxing, mocking and cajoling until each plant, even the normally passive geraniums, has done something to shift the scene; all in the unchanging garden which is always there in the morning just beyond the door.

“Do you just want me to practice the same moves in the form exactly the same way each time?” the student asks.

“Just try,” I dare her.

One Response to “Form”

  1. Jeff says:

    What would be the point of doing them differently each time?

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