Forever and a Day – by Bethany Lobberecht (Adult)

“Gramma, look.”

She puffs her cheeks and blows, and a hundred bubbles take flight.

“They’re so pretty!”

“They sure are, love.”

They reflect the world, those hundred bubbles. The emerald green beneath our feet, the yellow tulips like so many suns. Roses red a hundred times over, bloom upon bloom of purple lavender.

And so many worlds beyond.

In that one I see a small girl with hair like golden Victoria rivers, not yet a single trace of gray. In this one I see her in this very garden, lying on her back and searching the skies, trees like mountains above her. There I see her kissing a boy beneath the stars, and there a man, his hands running through her hair. In that one I see her rocking a swaddle against her chest, murmuring lullabies among the flowers.
And then there is that swaddle, now clutching her leg, and then leaping and falling and standing again. And there is the girl, now with streaks in her hair, lines spiderwebbing from the corners of her eyes. That one holds the image of her with another, and now a babe is clutched to the other’s breast. Her cheeks are paled as she kisses its head.

And there she is watching a million pictures go by, filling page after page and book after book, and slowly she grays.

Yet there again is the golden hair, and there she looks up and says,
“Gramma?”

I smile as I tuck a lock behind her ear, each strand gleaming in the afternoon light.

“I was just thinking, love. About a girl who used to spend a lot of time in this garden. Back when the roses were first planted and the lavender barely laid.”

“Wow…that must’ve been forever ago!”

“It was, love,” I say, as I watch a hundred bubbles drift into the skies, “and yet it seemed but a day.”

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Photo Flora 2019-03 – Garden Magic
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