Hidden Among a Sea of Dead Grass
The air was crisp and cool. The weather was clean and nearly perfect – little breeze, speckled sunshine, and no humidity – a perfect last Saturday of September. I was in my backyard, trampled dead, brown grass beneath my worn tennis shoes, contemplating whether or not my mother would be furious if I dug my heels into the soft and musty earth, expanding the plant cemetery that was filled with clumps of dead grass unearthed from their beds. I decided to anyways, the sound of the shuttle ricocheting off my racket into the cloud-freckled sky intertwining with the lyrics of the insects that still murmured.
With feathers stiff and straight, the shuttle was carried diagonally by the wind, drifting into the colossal leafy bush behind me. Luckily, the object of my attention alighted on the side of the said bush that entangled its arms upon itself as if it were hiding. I reached for the shuttle, but a frantic flapping of wings exploded outwards, a brown blur darting swiftly away from me. I started, but blur had brought my attention to a gap in the immense shrub. Approaching and kneeling down, I could see an opening between the vines as if they had been pried opened like a waterfall spilt by a rock. I crept into the bush upon my hands and knees, eyes adjusting slowly to the darkness as the sun filtered weakly through the foliage. The interior of the bush was large enough for four children to sit around the old, dirt-stained water meter centered where the light danced through in a cracked column. The viridescent blades of the leaf-woven roof rustled and whispered as a soft breeze sifted its gentle song through like a hand runs through hair. Despite the shielded dome of verdure, the light gust unearthed the smell of wet dirt, grass, and freshly broken branches. I sat atop of the water meter, eyes travelling from branches tangled like knots in hair to those strewn in a delicate and abstract maze. Vines laced between branches like a river between the blades of discolored leaves and thin and thick rods of branches. The bush's core bloomed beyond the careful glances of sunlight, stashed from human eye.
This brought my mind back to old hideouts, The Magic Tree House books, and secrets. The bush withdrew itself and hid its cavern away from discovery. People hold secrets hidden to the rest of the world - sheltered by their own distractors and foliage with branches waving, animals bursting out of sides, drawing our eyes elsewhere – but sometimes trying to tell us something important. I wonder what would it be like to pay more attention, to hear almost everything someone, something, anything is trying to tell me beyond words, without words. I believe everyone has a secret, hidden and withheld, but just waiting to be released. But for now, it waits, a gentle spark hidden within the beating heart, like the inside of an immense bush in the midst of a sea of uprooted grass.