Pansies in the Sunlight     My garden is not the most sophisticated of horticultural pursuits, and to say so would be laughable.  Once the sanctuary of my father’s cacti and charming river rock collection, it now houses my many attempts, successes and in-betweens of what gardening skill I have, or rather, lack thereof.  Regardless of its rather thrown-together charm, I find great comfort in my own personal Eden.  Amidst the half-finished patio that tapers off into the detritus-littered sand that myself and the weeds battle over, there is a purpose.  Behind the old bath tub and toilet set crammed with overflowing water and orange mints, there lies reason.  Beyond the broken-brick pathway and plastic bistro set where I now type, there rests meaning.  For this is more than just a garden, it is a sanctuary, to me and to the things I try to grow and nurture here.  From the lime tree that freezes every year, yet always manages to come back, to the pacific tree frogs (now beginning their chorus), who make the perilous climb up the raised concrete sink to bring their children to life each spring, such wonders can be discovered here. 

     True, the garden houses more snails than there are people on earth, and the bird feeders and bird baths are made out of those two dollar trays you buy to set beneath potted plants, yet those things are merely lost in the details.  They are happy here, those creatures of the wild, and they keep coming back, and despite my many attempts at getting Irish moss to grow between the bricks (I will succeed one day!), I have found peace here.  For it is in this very ramshackle garden that I first learned that Scrub Jays can sing with the sweet and cherished voice of the Hermit thrush, that a citrus tree, now only the pathetic remnants of its former, dead self, can rise up and produce fruit once again, and that despite its out of the way location, my old deaf and nearly blind dog can find me here, even when I’m not making a sound.  It is these small miracles I seek each day.  Perhaps I have created something more than a garden, or maybe it’s just the fancy of my writer’s imagination.  Regardless of where it harvests its silent magic, I am grateful for it and I will keep it close to my heart.

-J.E. Johnson