In The Garden

The Storm

The angel looked about in amazement, it seemed impossible yet it was there before her eyes. The angel smiled and the gardener watched approvingly. The garden was healing, growing back. The plant again was the central figure standing tall and proud, and settled in amongst its branches a tiny bluebird sheltered drawing strength from the nourishing nectar of the blossoms within the branches of the plant. The halfling had been coaxed back out of the shadows and had settled into the comforting embrace of the plant's canopy. The angel was glad to see her again and smiled knowing the plant provide warm sheltering shadows where the halfling again felt safe and secure enough to help the gardener in small ways. And the pixie again danced in pure pleasure sprinkling her dust on all who love and care. The gardener turned at last to the angel, "The garden will heal, the plant is again a source of strength and shelter to all, especially the new ones." He looked over the garden and smiled, "Yes, all will be well again in the garden. And the halfling has weathered the storm and is stronger. She will be a guide to the new ones for she knows the shadows and the darkness of fear and has room in her heart for all. She will be able to help them see hope even while they are in pain and are still new to the garden."

It had not been that long ago the angel had sat watching the small garden concerned by the damage the storm had wrought. She had been watching for the gardener - surely he would intercede she had thought. There had been storms to pass through the small garden - but not like this. The angel had asked the gardener to intercede when the darkness raised its head - she had felt an icy chill fill her being. He had looked at her with sadness and replied he could not, that he had given the inhabitants of the garden the freedom to choose and to intercede would deny them that choice. The inhabitants must choose not to allow the darkness. The winds had torn through like the furies but worse had been the ice - the small bluebird had been severely pierced and had flown from the garden in great pain. When the wind had settled there had been confusion and pain. And the plant had fallen silent.

It had started out as a beautiful day. Many of the garden's inhabitants had gathered under the canopy of the plant to relax and play. Several that had been feeling the clouds were feeling better and it was a happy time. As they played happily under the protection of the plant's canopy the bluebird joined them, all felt the magic that was the garden and their hearts were happy. The blend of all there sounds was a song of peace and joy. But a darkness had found its way into the small garden - the happy song filled it with a silent rage, and it had called the storm upon the small garden. None seemed to know who the darkness was - or where it had come from, but clearly it had found it's way into the garden. After the storm the halfling sat quietly in the corner of the small garden, a chill seemed to settle into her frame. Things will return to as they were her mind had tried to tell her heart - but not yet. As she sat the silences and the times of storms filled her ears and weighed heavily on her heart. The bluebird was perhaps gone, the tree was gone, and for a time it had felt like the plant would be gone also, The plant had reassured her this was not yet so, yet when she had sat beneath it's canopy it's leaves had been distant - beyond her grasp, and the wind passed through it's leaves silently. She had started to leave - to sit a short distance from the small garden. The halfling had looked back as she walked from the small garden - hoping deep within she might one day return. It had been difficult to look upon the damage in the garden, she could only trust the gardener had a reason - that it was not truly the end of all she had grown to love so deeply. Then she had slowly turned to slip once again into the shadows. The plant had called her back, assured her he would not yet leave. But the very air in the garden had seemed grey now. So she had sat in a quiet corner - and pondered. The halfling had watched, she had allowed the plant space and sat nearby in case she was needed. She had spoken some to let the plant know she was still there and tried to help in the garden as she could. She had felt some measure of relief when the plant had spoken, but the grey chill in the garden kept tears too close so mostly she was quiet. The pixie had hovered around her in great concern, hoping her bright lilting chatter would break through the mist surrounding the halfling's heart and had worried for a time the halfling might yet leave. The tiny humming bird and many others had tried to reassure the halfling yet still she remained in the grey mist, and the hummingbird danced before her "you can't leave me - you promised, you promised."

The plant had gone silent - but it was far from dormant. It lifted its leaves high and held them still, listening, watching, trying to find the source of the darkness. The anger and pain coarsened its bark and made the plant seem distant. It called to the bluebird offering shelter and protection, hoping to hear her song. But the magic of the garden could not be denied - the plant softened to those who had sheltered beneath its canopy and amongst it branches. As the plant softened, welcoming the inhabitants of the garden back beneath its canopy, happiness again began to settle about the garden like a soft warm blanket.

(c) Candace

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