The Garden

She wandered outside into the embrace of the cool night air. Breathing deeply, she inhaled the sweet scent of flowers on the breeze. She had come out here to look for something, but she didn't know what. Maybe it was herself.

She gazed upward and the stars were reflected back in her eyes. Sighing softly, she made her way down to the bottom of the little garden, the place where she could always feel at peace. She trailed her hand across a sapling's fresh green leaves, and rubbed flower petals together between her gentle fingers. Gradually she let her mind relax and drift away from her body, into the pure night sky.

Her garden was beautiful in the day; but in the night time, bathed in silver moonlight, it had a quiet magnificence about it that she had never been able to find anywhere else. The hedge around it shut off the rest of the world; it was just her and the garden and the sky.

There was a small open space within her garden, with a little stone fountain placed in the middle. The noise of the silver-frosted water bubbling, the insects chirping, the breeze whispering through the trees and the sleepy twitter of a bird somewhere overhead; all blended together into the peaceful music of the night. It was times like these when she could most easily rediscover her inner sense of happiness and contentment. Dipping her fingers into the fountain, she enjoyed the coolness of the water against her skin.

She sat down on the dewy grass, then flopped onto her back so that she could star gaze. What was it about the night sky that had so absorbed humans for thousands of years? The moon was almost at its full, but the night was clear and the stars still twinkled brightly.

Suddenly she heard a rustling sound in the bushes that seemed somehow out of place, and she sat up quickly. She was face to face with two solemn, golden eyes that glowed at her serenely out of the darkness. The cat's fur was as inky black as the night itself as she smiled and reached out a hand to caress its silken fur. Purring slightly, it climbed into her lap and settled itself warmly into place.

She and the cat remained that way for quite a while, comfortable in each others presence. After an indeterminable amount of time the cat opened its eyes once more, yawned and stretched and stepped delicately away from her. Stopping in the middle of the entrance to the garden, the cat shot an inquiring look over its shoulder at the girl, who was still sitting on the grass. Laughing softly, the girl climbed to her feet and followed the cat as, tail held high, it led the way from the garden and back up to the house.

The garden remained, quietly basking in the moonlight and the light of the stars. The flowers whispered sleepily to each other, settling down for the night. And overhead, a shooting star sped silently across the sky, in a celestial celebration of the world and all the beauty within it.