Finding the Garden

I step inside… It is absolutely frigid. It seems as if the walls know too, clad in their stoic gray-blue semblance. I dare not run – it could spell disaster for myself and all of the other apparitions locked in here with me. Yet mayhaps the only way to know for sure, the only way to capture outside, is to run toward it and believe it is made for me.

No. Fear doesn’t let me take that first jolt of commitment.

I walk around going from room to room to see all of the crystalline furniture. Prisms filter the sterile light that fills the space. They’d cast splashes of color across every surface, if they could. Looking across the hall and through the lavatory, I find that the sunroom nearest the garden. Green and gold rays envelope each subject in a blithe aura as they smile back at the violets. Tracing the vanishing lines of definition, I try to discern the way to get to the garden. It seems a labyrinth stands between me and my piece of Heaven.

Walking in an increasingly more distempered gait, I eventually become panicked where my heart was once serene and hopeful. The walls still feel icy cold, my fingertips threatening to go numb and render me hopelessly bound to the corner of this mirage.

Finally, like adjusting to a sunny day after years spent inside a cave, my eyes become unveiled and I canter in confidence towards my prize. Weaving around the taunting maze, I never take my eyes off of that garden. Its presence and image become clearer with every step.

Yet as I near all I desire, my heart sinks. Tracing the outline of the lovely garden with my eyes, I see that there is not a door or window or any other access from inside. My forehead smears the chilled barrier with a cold sweat, and I let loose a few tears. Disheartened and wistful, I clamp my eyes closed so hard that they begin to hurt in a dull headache.

It is no epiphany nor divine inspiration that clears my throat and straightens my shoulders; it is simply me and now and a decision to seize my treasure.

I take one step back and then another until I turn myself completely in the opposite direction and decidedly find the furthest barrier from all I find lovely. Back now feeling the tendrils of warmth, I take heart in my decision. I attempt to find the furthest wall, arms clumsily searching the space in front of me. I suddenly strike a wall with my outstretched fingers. I get as close to it as I can, as if to fade into the barrier like light soaking into a blanket. I turn to once again face the thing for which I thirst.

The other apparitions now focus on me, and I look around and lock my gaze in each of theirs for a moment. These, my friends, are always pleasant visitors, if and when we meet. On rainy days, we will look through to one another from separate rooms, and I desire to be with them. It is not a fierce desire. It is there, but only just. I mouth the words, “I’m sorry” to each of them in a half-hearted ceremony observing niceties. They nearly make me rue my decision, but I refuse to let them keep me here any longer.

Bracing in eager anticipation, my heart now feels as if it lies motionless in my chest. Anything that moves fast enough will appear to stand still. So it is with me as I thrust myself from the wall and sprint towards the Garden. I yell in guttural joy as I smash through the walls of this glass house. It shatters around me and shards of glass splash off my shoulders like rain falling on boulders of marble. Hours pass between the cataclysm and the silence. I swear I even hear some pieces strike days and weeks later; they send a pang of nostalgia down my spine.

With a deep sigh, I take my seat in the garden. You know the one – you’ve been there before. It is the wooden bench with a small coffee table to one side and a bird bath filled with jovial goldfinches on the other. Breathing in the no-more-stale air, I can feel true life fill my lungs. The glass house now lays as a pool of coruscant prisms. Some days, I wish I could rebuild it and enter one of those safe, cozy rooms.

But I’d rather live to be all that I am.

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