Being inspired, maybe – 19

A picture paints ... well, as many words as you like.  For instance:

And, then, the words:

"I thought your mother wanted to keep the fernery?"

Melissa, though, hated anything to do with gardens and would have happily bulldozed the lot and put up an extended patio.

Now, looking at how overgrown it had become, I was almost in agreement with her and had said so.

Why then did she mention my mother's wishes?

The truth was, it had sentimental value to me, a place where I used to go and disappear from the world, often to lose myself on one of the old books my grandmother had given me from her library.

Old books from the 19th century, books that had been handed down to her, and had that definitive old age smell about them, with bindings the cracked when you opened the covers.

They were about a different world that it was today, and it had seeded my imagination.

Now, the fernery had been reduced to an overgrown mess.  It once had a path through the middle, a collonade of ferns and a fountain in the middle, with seats in each quadrant.  It had been famous for about 15 minutes, too, when it featured in a woman's magazine at the turn of the 20th century.

Much like the house I had spent a lot of my youth in.  Old, in disrepair, and needed a lot of money to repair, money we didn't have.

"My mother wanted to keep the house, too."

"And she did.  But it's yours now, and we have to be practical."

I heard her but didn't answer, instead, I said, "If only you could see what I had seen, what it represented."

I felt her fingers intertwine with mine and a gentle squeeze.  She knew what this place had meant to me, then as now.

"But who said we have to be practical?"

© Charles Heath 2018


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