In This Garden

by Deak Kirkham

English Garden path, trees, red flowersIn this garden, there is a kind of needlessness. In measured, gentle, incremental growing, plants, trees and branches twine and strain their idiosyncratic way upwards and outwards from within the earth out into the air.

Their colours and textures overlap to offer to the eye a spectrum of wild combinations: there on the oak tree, gritty, gnarled bark is jutting and jagged with a brazen assertiveness; beneath it, on the lily, there is smooth delicacy and the impression of an orderly symmetry. These are stark and startling contrasts which bewitch and capture the eye. Everything is here: colour, shape, size and tone. The eye is drawn on from petal to leaf and from branch to stem; particularities emerge from the interweaving tapestry of this festival of graceful growing.

Now walking, slowly and effortlessly, the garden’s avenues and pathways draw me on from border to border. Here, there is a rosebush painted in splendid pink, nestled between a cluster of evergreens. Further on, some hydrangeas, lilac and white, spring towards me with their characteristic buoyancy. And then, as the pathway starts to incline upwards, I am welcomed into the shadowy coolness of gathering of pine trees. Each acknowledges me in its own way, as I pass.

In the human world, effort seems to be everything. Sometimes everything is effort. Perhaps effort has become a god. But in this merry garden, that idol cannot be worshiped. There is only effortless growing and the absence of that hot, strangled urgency that marks the comings and goings of women and men. I wander on, happy in the aloof company of these stately, un-needy, sprouting things.

Photo by Anna Denisova

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