In the Japanese Garden

In the fall, the fruit of the persimmon tree ripens. I’ve raced the crows and squirrels to pick some coral fruit and stow it in my messenger bag to bring home. It ripens to orange in a basket on the kitchen counter. If I’m late in a season, only husks remain, and the withered star of the stem.

The Japanese garden is circular, a groomed oasis among fields of tall grass studded with gopher mounds and stands of walnut trees, oaks and firs along the river greenway. The garden is laid out with axled paths anchored by stone benches dedicated to the memory of lost beloveds. There is a granite table set with a mosaic chess board flanked by granite benches. The dog and I cross here sometimes, coming to look for herons fishing beside the gentle water rippling through the canal.

It’s spring now. I study the garden as we pass and the beckoning blooms on the trees: the snowy cherry, a purple red bud, the tight promise of bracts on kousa dogwoods. Each tree awakens in its own time, opens to the sun, and so quickly releases blown petals beneath its  branches to mulch the soil. The magnolia tree blooms are as big as my fist, a full cup, a golden chalice, then offered to the wind.

magnolia_bloom.png

k.

Author: Kim K. McCrea

Kim K. McCrea worked as a System Analyst for 25 years building out the internet of things before returning to letters in 2017. Kim won the Treefort Wild West Writing Prize, was runner up in Cutbank short prose contest, and named a finalist in Proximity Magazine's Essay Prize and the Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction Contest. Her work appears in Cutbank, Tishman Review, Thoughtfuldog, and Watershed Review. Kim lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she wrangles her Labrador in the rain.

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