First Bloom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The realisation of the natural world.

Submitted: July 08, 2012

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Submitted: July 08, 2012

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It was the end of winter or, perhaps, the beginning of spring. John hadn’t given the topic much thought, himself being so wrapped up in a multitude of affairs, all trivialities of sorts. John thought so much of these day to day worries and trifling matters that, in truth, John rarely thought at all. Unaware of what he was to the world, his only concern was of what the world was to him. Indeed, of what the world could do for him. However, the season was significant for as winter turned to spring, John changed. John blossomed in harmony with the cherry blossom trees, his petals – tears. It was spring. John awoke to a ray of sunlight, forcing its way through a gap in the curtains. The sight of which filled him with the greatest curiosity. Convinced he had not seen it so brash and daring in months; John decided to make further inquiries and sluggishly made his way downstairs.

Opening the back door, stiff from winter, John made his way out into his small unkempt garden, once notable for its mild rustic charm. Now, littered throughout are the battered remnants of childhood. The centre piece is a broken lawnmower on its side with a blunt and rusting blade reflecting sunlight about the garden. There’s the hose, stretching the length of the garden like an unruly weed, revelling in the chaos around it. The grass, in the few patches it still grows, takes on a sickly bright green tinge, neglected by the sun. Much of the garden is in shade for, towards the back of this run-down cube stands two large overbearing cherry blossom trees. It seemed strange but, despite their impressive dominance over the immediate landscape, John had never truly acknowledged them.

Seeing them after the long winter, it was as if he was seeing them for the very first time. He knew it was absurd but John, so utterly gripped by winter, thought that trees would be bare and lifeless forever. He could not remember, nor even conceive of them in bloom. He walked across a carpet of pink and green – petals still falling now and then – and scrutinised the trees with great wonder and suspicion. He looked like a child seeing the world fresh for the first time or of a blind man suddenly granted with vision, struggling to take in the colour of the scene. He felt overwhelmed by a feeling far stronger than nostalgia. There was not, at least as far as he could recollect, a time in his youth when this was a natural sight. Slowly edging back from the trees he looked up at the sun and noted the shape of the clouds and of the circling birds overhead. It is difficult to imagine your world, the world you have gradually become acquainted with, utterly reversed, capsized, and painted out again before your eyes. It was as if throughout the winter months and indeed, the years preceding this winter, his eyes had been resolutely fixed upon the ground. Now, looking up at the sky he stumbles back a few steps, straining his neck. It is similar to how one struggles for balance when standing before a skyscraper or inside a great cathedral, stunned by the size and extravagance of the ceiling.

Two minutes passed. John raised his shaking hands to his face and wiped away the tears that for two minutes had been freely flowing. He moved slowly back towards the house, taking one last glance at the scene. He felt strangely liberated and yet at the same time horrified by the sight, now firmly implanted in his mind’s eye. This new feeling, this way of seeing, of living, grew within John with every passing week. As did the grass in the garden, overrunning the carcass of the lawnmower and submerging the hose in a riot of green.


© Copyright 2020 CWatkins. All rights reserved.

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