It’s springtime and the garden is leaving.
I stand on the perimeter of the garden, toes barely touching the soil
One hand lies idle in an empty pocket.
I reach out to gently clench a leaving between my fingers.
I rub my thumb along the surface,
Up from the base out to the edges
Which are rough-hewn, still expanding, still stretching, still aspiring.
Verdant, expectant: veins stretch in miraculous complexity
Extending toward an unstinting divine light;
I stand on the edge of the garden, silent sentinel,
Guardian of Eden,
Witnessing the perennial leaving.
Each season, I stand in awe of the leaving.
You see, it wrestles with nothing:
Fears no natural predator,
Entertains no concern for error,
Emboldens itself in accidental intention.
Visitors here, I’m sure, will gasp at this garden
With its explosive canopy of color –
Preposterous pansy, boisterous bluebell, flamboyant lantana –
Reverential to the pyrotechnics of natural selection.
But I know
It is the quiet; it is the underscored undergrowth;
It is the leaving that matters.
The leaving holds the lifeblood.
I suppose the dirt embedded in my fingernails
And in the creases in the skin of my palms
Is evidence that I was some instrument in the leaving.
Yes, yes – I seeded, I fed, I pruned.
Of course, of course, I did. As did others.
But all that has been over-glorified before.
You’ll excuse me if I do not boisterously celebrate this leaving.
I have stood watchman to so many leavings before, and will after.
I age, but the leaving remains timeless.
I age, I remain. My own leaving is far behind me.
And here, now, again:
Upon your leaving, I stand silent sentinel
As you burst forth blissfully into the ethereal light.
My love for you courses soundlessly through the veins
of the leaving.