The air is warm despite the temperature being in the 30s. Mom and grandma walking together, me tailing behind, drooping from the fatigue of my walk and wonders of the city. There is no exhaustion in my mom’s smile or in grandma’s ecstatic laughter over frivolous qualms about squirrels or dogs intruding and trespassing into their prized gardens filled with peonies, iris, hydrangea, False Solomon’s seal, and hostas. Those two have always had high expectations and anticipations for their gardens. I never understood why they treat all life like humans, as if the squirrels would respect property or as if the forsythia, per request, would just wait until after the last frost to bloom. They knew, because they would laugh away the results. Grandma’s hands start to shake admitting she could never admit to keeping being up with their gardens. Mom exclaims in agreement then looking down to notice those nervous hands.
My moms continue on over small and big matters with me still lagging behind. Their tones fluctuate with the topic, elevating into elation and then quieting into concern. The two of them listen with all their intention. Grandma never took her attention off my mom, it has been a while since they’ve talked. Eventually we turn a right into the Japanese garden. Stepping into a space of bamboo and rock gardens, my moms still haven’t caught on to the space. I chime in to remind my mom to be respectful of the space. Mama, so embarrassed that she’s making so much noise in the meditation area, admits to her awareness in full laughter. We all start laughing, causing ripples in the coy fish-filled pond.
Across the water a dark-figure stares at me. Her eyes stare deep in curiosity, perturbed by my giddy, irreverent smile. She doesn’t see my moms; otherwise, that woman from across the water would understand my gleeful jubilation. It would appear that I’m just laughing at myself., but oh they are always with me “in spirit.”