F said that first. She knows more words than I can keep track of, and is eloquent between her frequent moments of belligerence. I taught her “tendrils”; they seemed to go well with “unfolding”, and they distracted her from using her new favorite word, “nauseating”. The smell in the Ottoman Garden was a bit nauseating, but we chalked it up to rich, organic matter spread amongst the burgeoning tulips. I’ll take “nauseating” over the alternatives any day. I’ll take language over anything. We force feed her words at every pause in our day in the hopes that she’ll have the ones she needs at her disposal to describe the tempests, or calm them on occasion.
“The garden is unfolding,” she boldly announces as she crosses the threshold, and that is enough to carry me through our walk while dodging her walking-stick-turned-metal-detector that she has threaded into the end of her scarf and has now turned into a bow and arrow. She tests me as she wields this weapon through the Wednesday morning walkers. They are not amused, except for one. That lady sees it too. The garden is unfolding, and the observant can see it, and the poets can name it, and the walking sticks are plentiful, covered in spent magnolia and pungent earth.