Copyright 2013 by James Pritchett. All rights reserved.
The garden was hers and hers alone, like everything in her life. It was quite large and was bounded by high walls. There was a loneliness about it, and she had come to take this completely for granted. There were almost no people in her life. She had no parents and no siblings, no friends and no enemies. What was there in her life? There was a luxurious suite of rooms. There were the nearly invisible servants and the indifferent nanny who had raised her. There were books: books that told stories about fantastic lands and books that told stories about common peasants. But all told of things she had never encountered. There was music: music played by unknown musicians who appeared and disappeared on their little balcony. There were her quiet walks in this beautiful, loveless garden.
One day, while resting on a bench under a tree, a small bird appeared next to her. Because she remained indifferent to the many beauties surrounding her, she did not notice the bird at first. She did not hear its astonishing voice. But the bird returned the next day, and then again the day after that. Day after day, the bird returned to her to sing its beguiling song, ethereal notes that you could not locate precisely in pitch, key, space, or time.
Later, she could not exactly recall when she first noticed the bird. She could not recall when she began looking for the bird, seeking it out every day on her walks in the garden. She could not recall when she first realized that the bird was not just singing, but that it was singing to her. And she could not recall when it was that she began to speak to the bird and to tell it her secrets. She could not remember how any of this happened, but it did: the bird sang, her heart opened, and they fell in love.