Slice of Life 23:
Six rectangular apartment buildings sit parallel in unison alongside the gray pavement of the city street. Concrete sidewalk and a slim strip of patched grass acts as a partition between the buildings and the passing cars. The buildings are basic in structure, unremarkable and discreet.
I drive past en route to work five days of week. In winter months, the buildings remain forgettable; modest and plain. Most months, I reach 103rd street, passing the columns of four-sided structures without notice, without a glance to my right.
Spring time carries in a kaleidoscope of color to one building. One building differentiates itself come spring. Flowers emerge from the base of the ordinary, forgettable building. They spill out towards the concrete sidewalk like a wavy tide of sea upon the beach; undulating ripping tides of slim white daisies, fuchsia painted azaleas, apricot begonias, lemon daffodils and blushing dahlias, all scattered amongst shrubs and foliage the colors of avocado, lime, and forest green. Light wisps of feathery ground cover breeze below and between the dark foliage.
The others remain ordinary and rectangular. The others do not have her tender care, watching and nurturing a show stopping garden, which erupts like spectacular fireworks alongside the exhaust and fumes. She is responsible and with great care she tends to her garden. For whom does she labor? Her long white hair blows across her face as she pulls the intrusive weeds, tugging the weight of the stubborn hose, plots and plans her medley of color. Bent slightly, one can see the frailness of her. Often a flimsy hat will shield her ripened face from the sun. Thin clothing hangs and blows in the breeze. There is grace in the way her body curves over her garden, motherly and serene. She peacefully labors. I have seen her in the morning weeding, in the afternoon attending, in the evening hours of dusk, watering. Countless days and countless hours, she tends her garden.
I do not know her name or her story. I have never spoken to her. I simply drive by her, observing her daily routine. I notice her dedication and her elegance. She beautifies the pavement, adding endless shades of delicate color to the monotony of the city street. She tends her garden, splashing a dull, concrete world with brilliant hues of majesty. Her garden’s smile shines for every passing car. She alone makes an ordinary, rectangular building extraordinarily remarkable. I take notice and I am grateful for this graceful gardener.