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There was another world in my garden when I was a child, one that could only be accessed through secret doors and passageways, across and under grapevines, up and down ropes, and around and through the trees. I had no real name for it, but my sister called it “Lafneria.” She was the one who took the trouble to breathe real life into the place. She built log benches there, places to rest among the hidden flowers, sheltered under elm tree branches. She was always the artist, and I was jealous of her skill, but oh so grateful when she let me enter this world of hers. We would eat rhubarb, and drink the water straight from the garden hose, listening to the hum of the mosquitoes that flew overhead. We would camp outside, a blanket-and-pillow-filled innertube from a tractor tire serving as a bed for each of us. There, we would lie awake beneath the stars and the cool glow of the Milky Way, waiting for one of our cats to find us, seeking our warmth. It was a world that we created together, each in our own way. I know my other sisters helped too, but my memory of their parts isn’t as strong as that word… Lafneria. I wish I knew how she came up with that. It made the whole place seem more magical, and more distant, even though it was still just a small spot in the garden in the back yard of my childhood home.

2 Comments

  1. I love your description of this place…it feels sacred, from the way you talk about it, and the love for it in your words. You found magic there, and in some form or other, everyone seeks magic in this world. Those who are fortunate enough to find it are changed by it forever. Those who give up the search dull and fade, and their years fall heavy upon them. Hold on to that magic. Keep it in your mind and memory.

  2. I love this little insight into your past. You never told me about this before. Your sister made a huge difference in your life when you were a kid, and I knew that, but I have heard only a few stories from when you were little. I like hearing about this time in your life. :3


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