By C. L. Collar
Abigail sat underneath the magnificent oak tree; the centerpiece of her gorgeous garden. A small breeze tenderly brushed a stray strand of sliver hair across her face. The sweet scent of lavender intermingled with a delicate rose fragrance as it drifted to her nose. She sighed. Spring was her favorite time of year. She lifted the ornate pitcher from the table and poured the yellow liquid into her glass. The ice cubes tinkled, adding their musical notes to the melody of the wind chimes dangling above her head. Sipping the sweet-tart lemonade, Abigail smiled and leaned back in her chair.
She looked toward the heavens through the dense foliage of the regale tree. When she and her husband, Joshua had bought the property this tree had been the only occupant in the yard. She loved it and he hated it. She saw it as the beginning of a haven from all of their daily trials and stress. He saw it as a water guzzling, root infestation that would cause nothing but problems. She won the battle with a pouting mouth and pleading eyes. Joshua never stood a chance against her charms. She held his heart in her small hands and she knew it all too well. Fifty years had passed and she still did.
Abigail’s gaze fell on the blazing orange and yellow blossoms surrounding their vegetable garden. These had been the first uneatable plants lovingly placed here by her hands, her first addition to the garden. Joshua chided her for wasting money on such nonsense, but she pointed out that the seeds were a gift from an elderly friend who said the beautiful marigolds would not only perk up the garden but would also keep bugs away from the plants, explaining that their bitter scent worked as a natural insecticide. Josh had no argument for that so he shook his head, smiled and then went back to work, hoeing the weeds from between the rows.
A garage sale, had furnished the small table and chairs where she now sat. A new coat of paint and pebbles found at the pond and glued to the surface were all that it needed to transform it to a new, natural splendor. The chair cushions were worn but comfortable. Taking another sip from the glass, her eyes focused on the deep purple lavender and bright roses that were scattered about the yard.
The wild rose bushes had been a gift, from the elderly gardener with each child born to the couple, red for a boy and yellow for a girl. Lavender joined the yard along with a multitude of herbs when her treasured friend taught her how to use them to make fabulous meals and sweet potpourri. The selling of the potpourri paid well and Joshua’s increased waistline testified to his approval of the herbs.
Delicate daffodils, colorful tulips and heady scented hyacinths were strategically placed to fade out as the summer flowers blossomed. Bouquets sold through the local store more than offset the cost of the bulbs and seeds while furnishing her with fresh, fragrant decoration throughout the house. Everything had a memory and a purpose.
A butterfly settled on the top of the lemonade pitcher, seeking a taste of the sweet-tangy beverage. Abigail dipped her finger into her glass then placed a drop on the rim. In one swift breath the drop was gone as the delicate insect drifted away, preferring the sweetness of the honeysuckle’s blossom. Abigail laughed. “You should have known that Mother Nature’s drink would be the tastiest, silly girl.”
Abigail closed her eyes and drew a deep breath as contentment slowly spread through her body. Yes, with the help of her very special friend her vision had come to life. The old tree’s limbs creaked and squeaked, as the light breeze grew a little stronger. She opened her eyes and looked once more into the vast canopy above her.
“You think that I saved you that day so long ago, dear friend,” she said to the massive oak. “But it was really you who saved me.”
The old oak spread its branches just enough to let a single ray of sunshine bask on Abigail’s face. “I’d say we saved each other,” he whispered through his leaves.