The Gardener
2 min read

The Gardener

Sitting on a garden bench, Sophie envies the gardener. While she observes him tending to the plants, she reflects on her own journey as a writer, her past success and failure. Will she be able to bounce back?
The Gardener

Why can't I be happy like him?

Sophie sighed, staring at the lean man who whistled a tune while pulling weeds around the dahlia bush. Surrounded by a medley of flowers of various hues of purple, yellow, blue and red, the gardener walked around with long strides, talked with the tweeting birds and laughed while chasing squirrels.

Why did I get into this mess? By mess, Sophie meant writing.

Sophie still remembered the day she wrote her first story — about a man who befriended a wise caterpillar. Although it sounded innocent at first glance, it brimmed with symbolism, satire and absurdity of social norms.

And she shared it online on a forum.

She woke up the next day with the sun shining brighter through her window. And her jaw dropped when she opened her email. People all around the globe praised her for her masterpiece. Critics called her "Kafka's lost daughter". Her phone kept ringing as the world wanted to interview her.

But the great unusual peak in her writing career turned into a deep valley in a matter of weeks.

As hard as she tried, she never could come up with another piece as good as her first one. Some stories enjoyed moderate success. But the rest felt like a miserable attempt to revive something that didn't exist in the first place.

Months passed. And years passed.

A failed writer sat on this bench every morning admiring the beautiful little garden in front of her.

"Enjoying my little garden, eh?" The words jolted her back into the present. Sophie smiled at the gardener, who returned a toothy grin.

"This place was a barren piece of land a couple of years ago. How did you make it so beautiful?"

"This garden is like my kid, you know? You never know what your kid will become one day. Nor do you want them to be a certain way. You simply do your best every day. You care for them and keep them away from trouble. And one day, they grow up into someone you're truly proud of. And that’s how I feel today."

Sophie's smile widened as a pleasant breeze brought along some of the garden's fragrance. A cute little house sparrow landed on the other end of the bench.

She learnt how to write today.