Ara’s Garden

Monterey, California

Ara lived down the street in one of those houses that sits way back from the road with a big front yard. It was full of overgrown raspberry bushes and ancient fruit trees with twisted, gnarled trunks. Her stories always started with something about her late husband. Now that he’s gone she can’t keep up the yard, or how he planted that plum tree, and it still has the best fruit you ever tasted, and the fountain was beautiful, but now it’s too much work for her. 

My favorite was the massive, overgrown rose bush, and a story about an anniversary, or maybe it was the birth of their daughter. Her yard was a series of stories that spun a narrative with the heartbeat of passing time still pulsing. When Ara died, it took less than a day to bulldoze that yard. They built a new house ten times bigger than Ara’s that takes up the whole lot with just a smidgen of a yard. I wonder if this new house will be able to hold memories like Ara’s.