This is where it begins: over the garden wall.
The red, faded brick wall, tall and mighty, an enclosure stretching far, astoundingly wide. Chipped, degenerate, bits and pieces floating upwards before cosying themselves at the corners. The layered wall measures four foot, but the solidifying particles increase the humble defense in stature, crawling in delayed time.
Grassy green runs around, spill roots onto uneven clumps and ends. The sweet scent of daisies, gentle petals swaying lightly even in still wind as they lie asleep on the ground. Glimpses of white float in the atmosphere, hung by invisible strings that only the angels can see, them bound to the tired trees. Soft like snow, beauty that melts upon a moment’s touch.
The circle of trees with its array of russet leaves, wizened and wise. A hollow in its heart deep, a possible access to the centre of the earth. Cold and unresponsive save for the lines its rough branches shed. Leaves, first shaky then still, colour of brown turning lighter and lighter into vermillion and sea green. Roots dipping loftily into the stream for a drink.
The tinkling, how lean, clear crystal even when the sky is feeling grey gloom. Where the stream widens, the water gushes with a threatening overflow upward to the narrower path. Fishes, red, blue, yellow and green in delight challenge the current. The occasional hop backwards, as though they are circus creatures putting up a show, their audience the disinterested earthworms and planktons. Goes on and on, a cycle of reverse.
A drenched silver pocket watch, dislodged with fury from the stream and into the nook between overgrown roots. The black seconds and hour hand point at the eight and four respectively. A sad face on the one who knows time best. Any attempt to interfere, turn its frown upside down (hands placed on ten and two) is futile. The whirring sound stirs its hands to where it should be, before a low, sombre hum fills the place. A subtle disharmony to the trickling of water and the occasional blow of the air. Leave it alone, slumbering in the dark, it has done no harm.
The tumble of an odd disposable plastic bag rolls from the stream to the wooden bench, one engraved with constellation marks. Aside from the plastic bag hooked on its arm, it stands alone, almost by the wall. Dedicated to the one who dreams to the stars and beyond, its Latin phrase per aspera ad astra perceivable on its centre. An imperfect frame, likely cut by a knife, slowly etches itself on the bench’s skin, bleeding to remember, bleeding to catch the fleeting.
A glass marble wobbly at the top of the wall, kaleidoscopic, reflecting both the wonder of visible light and its invisibility. Darkness and shadows encapsulated along in this gem. How can one thing hold on for so long before breaking up and apart.
Take it back. Take it in and keep it, only to find out that it’s lost through a pocket hole when it’s too late to turn around.
This is where it ends: over the garden wall.