On a lazy Sunday morning, the sound of laughter draws me to the window. It’s my neighbour’s grandchildren, merrily blowing soap bubbles in their backyard. They watch mesmerized as the sky is painted in colours, and when the bubbles pop, they gasp and cheer.
Their little bichon joins in on the fun, barking in excitement, and their grandfather shakes his head fondly before going back to tending to his garden.
He’s not much of a talker, this old man. He never had to, sticking to grunts because his late wife used to do most of the talking for him. But the lively plump lady had passed away around this time last year, and it’s been pretty quiet over there since.
However, when his grandchildren come to visit, laughter fills the air again, and the hint of a smile touches the man’s stern mouth.
He smiles at their enthusiasm: at their bright eyes as they watch the bubbles rise in the air like dreams. It’s their eagerness that creates bubbles. But it won’t keep them from popping.
And when these burst, there is nothing left but empty air.
However, when my eyes eventually shift their focus, I’m suddenly aware of the lovely flowers beneath. I see the beautiful garden that my neighbour grows with steady, callused hands.
It may have some weeds, but it’s real, as real as the mud in his hands. And I wonder…
Dreams are filled with colours and wonder. Like bubbles, they aim for the sky. But it’s this garden of blooming flowers and leafy trees that grounds them.
Why does this silent old man work on it so diligently? He is growing flowers that one day may wilt, and planting trees whose shade he won’t ever enjoy. But maybe that’s precisely why…
Maybe one day, when he’s become one with the earth he so cherishes, and his grandchildren’s dreams have been burst like bubbles in the wind… They will still be able to sit under the shade of these trees he’s planted, and quietly enjoy a sunny morning much like this.