Six of Gardens

golden gate
On the outskirts of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Generosity of spirit. Charity of support received or offered. Prosperity. Selfless giving. Taking stock of available resources.” Steve Lucas via Japaridze Tarot

For hours Selene and Giuseppe continued conversing about all life had graciously offered them. They both shared a passion for voyages – both of the physical and metaphoric persuasion. Giuseppe continued to paint, while they spoke of folk tales, mountains, deserts, heartbreak, serendipity, and desire. As they continued to exchange stories, ideas, and thoughts, time became suspended; and the room was filled with an ineffable magical quality. In the midst of laughter, the bookstore phone rang. “I wonder whom that might be at such a late hour.” Giuseppe inquisitively said out loud. As he made his way to the ringing phone, Selene had a moment to absorb the spaces that surrounded her – the seafoam green walls, the stacked canvases, the paints, the hanging Brazil Amazon painting, the journals, the smell of grapeseed oil. Serendipity – she thought to herself. In a previous life not too many years prior, Selene had been a clinical psychology graduate student. She was working on her doctorate degree when, one morning she awakened with an inexplicable sense of despair suffocating her soul – the entirety of her life was smeared with a lackluster color. That same morning, she reminisced on the time she had spent in Madrid – carefree, colorful, energized. She was set to have a meeting with her advisor that afternoon to begin discussing her thesis. By the eleventh hour of that morning, she had decided that it was time to leave the life she had planned behind. What good is a life decorated with accolades if it’s not enjoyed?  That afternoon she made the announcement to her cohort class and by the evening was no longer a graduate student. A week later, she found herself working at a local coffee shop – she had decided to use some saved funds to travel and roam the globe and would work to accumulate additional ones. In the years that followed, she had transversed Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and now found herself in France. “I apologize dear. A dear friend phoned to tell me that my brother has fallen ill. I must attend to these matters, if you don’t mind.” With an empathic look, Selene pulled her hair back up into a pony tail, grabbed her clutch, and wished the old man the best of luck. “Thank you for sharing a slice of magic with me. I wish you and your brother well.” 

As she reemerged into the world, Selene noted that nightfall had arrived. Time had mysteriously escaped her grip without her notice.  It was a lively Friday night and the streets were decorated with laughing wine drinkers, avid moviegoers, young disco club enthusiasts, and hand-holding lover walking down stone-paved streets. As the chilly air caressed her skin, she made her way through the crowds, often stopping to marvel at the beauty of those around her. Scenes of friends around a dinner table, lovers exchanging a kiss, and a woman walking a dog reminded her of moments in her previous life – what it is to be tethered to a culture, to its people, to a spaceEventually she found herself in her flat, where soon after arrival she fell into a deep sleep. That night, Selene dreamt of the Brazilian Amazon, she dreamt of Giuseppe, and she dreamt of a beautiful mountainous landscape; the French Alps, she presumed. In her dream, she was dressed in a long yellow silk tunic with white trimmings, which covered her in near entirety with the exception of the exposure of her face and hands. Decorating the headpiece, were white anemone flowers stringed together to frame her face. Her feet were adorned with pointed silk yellow slippers, perfectly matching her tunic. The day was sunny, but partly cloudy. It appeared that she had already made her way quite far up the mountain as when she looked behind she could not see the base. As she stopped to inhale the beauty offered by the view, she spotted what appeared to be house dwellings further up the mountain. Curiously, she moved towards them.

In the process of making her way towards the dwellings, she spotted a child frantically running across from one dwelling to another, chasing after a dog. The young child gleefully glided towards the dog, trying to catch its tail. The child’s shrieking laughter echoed throughout the space. A few moments later, came a young woman, whom Selene assumed to be her mother. “Ania! If you’re going to chase after Ruddy, please put shoes on!” She yelled.  Without hesitation, the child continued running, laughing, and chasing the dog. As Selene neared the dwellings, she was attracted to a particular house that was slightly isolated from the rest. The house was small, made largely of stone, and unevenly painted with splattered hues of red and yellow. The surrounding ground was dry, rocky, with collected clusters of pebbles. When she approached what she assumed to be an abandoned home, she heard movement. Someone whom lived in the dwelling, had opened a small window. Startled, she took a step back. Perhaps, I should admire this with a bit more distance. She thought to herself.  When she stepped back, a door slightly opened. From the door a hand covered with a yellow silk sleeve slowly approached her with a bouquet of flowers. The bouquet was full and had a sunflower, a large carnation, an amaryllis, an iris, some daisies, among other flowers. The hand appeared to belong to someone of the masculine sex. The hand held the flower bouquet for Selene. Selene inched closer and gracefully picked up the bouquet. “Thank you.” Selene said. As she did so, the door of the home fully opened. Selene awakened.

It was mid-morning on a Saturday and Selene had just awakened with a desire to head to explore  the mountains. Though she normally awakened in the early hours of the morning, the first day after long days of travel, she always allowed herself to sleep as much as her body desired – to adjust to time zone changes. Outside of the opened window she had neglected to shut the previous day, she heard hustle and bustle. Upon approaching the window, she saw the street lined with a market – full of produce, fresh bread, flowers, bicycles, and a myriad of shoppers ranging from elderly women to tourists.  In the distance she spotted Giuseppe walking alongside a young man whom was holding a oddly familiar bouquet of flowers. “Giuseppe!” She called. Giuseppe spotted her and waved. “Good morning, Selene!” Selene quickly got out of her bed, briskly brushed her teeth, and ran down the stairs of the flat in hope of catching Giuseppe – she wanted to know if he had any recommendations on what to see and do in the mountains of Nice – perhaps he even had a book. As she made her way towards Giuseppe and the young man, she wondered why the flowers the young man held looked so familiar.

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