Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • While I sleep, or while I lay awake before dawn, the night gardens are blooming down the street at the florists shop. The gardens of my memories are at their peak again. Dew is on the leaves of mornings past; fog covers dill and asparagus fronds. The pale asters of late summer say there is still time.

    I once worked on a small carpentry job in a florists shop whose atmosphere I thought was magical. There were wide board old pine floors, a series of low ceilinged rooms with beams from the colonial era. In a City space the details formed an oasis, a time machine.
    There was a small backyard where we built a compost bin and potting cabinets from rough pine.
    The staff seemed friendly and relaxed until they got a wedding deadline. Then piles of stems and cuttings were strewn about, the tables were covered with scraps of string and wet paper. They moved at a pace all day, the piles kept shifting and changing. Bulk turned into bouquet.
    My husband and I worked together in the yard.
    I grumbled and fussed throughout the day concerned about meeting our estimates and finishing on schedule. I felt out of synch with the beautiful environment yet it was so – tantalizingly - close.

    Friday evening came and they made strong cocktails, assuring us that their job was more stressful than ours. They needed a double.
    But everything is so beautiful here, how could that be? I asked them.
    They scorned me for displaying my foolishness, and I realized that they were, completely jaded to their surroundings.
    I thought what they did was a sort of Ikebana exercise in meditation but it, like my own job, had become just work.

    Gardens that bloom in summer need constant tending and winter flowers are dried.
    But the night gardens, those gardens of our dreams, bloom without interruption.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.