As I open my eyes, I am aware that I am standing in a garden. There is a house next to it, which I know is mine. I feel so comfortable out here that I decide to stay in the garden a while. 

I look up and I can see that the sky is many shades of orange and red. The sun is setting. It is dusk. The air feels warm like a summer day. I can feel the breeze on my skin delivering a gentle hug on behalf of my friend the sun. It wraps itself around me and says “I love you " before releasing me. I feel so content in this moment. 

I slowly close my eyes so I can face the sun directly without squinting. Through my eyelids I see a pink ball radiating with vibrant and beautiful  shades of yellow, pink and purple.

I open my arms and imagine myself giving the sun a hug of my own and whispering  back to him “I love you too". This is the best feeling I have ever felt. 

I turn around slowly with my eyes still closed and with my arms still open, I lower my head and open my eyes. I look down at the earth and I say to her out loud "I love you”.

I drop to my knees and my outstretched arms are now stretched across the earth. When my knees hit the ground I feel a jolt, like my body is a shock absorber and I am absorbing the shock of the earth. I can sense that she is cold and hard. I can barley feel her pulse. I listen closely because I instinctively know the earth is dying. 

I am quick and methodical as I lay my face down and put my cheek and my ear to the ground. I can hear the earth's voice like a far away echo. I listen harder and I realize that I can also see her in my mind’s eye. She is mouthing the words "help me". She is barely making a sound. 

I am soon aware of my own heart beating quickly within my chest. I am afraid. I calm my body down since I know that if I am afraid I will not be able to hear her. Fear is a very loud feeling.

I gently but firmly instruct my body to sink into the ground. I tell myself to relax into the earth as though it were my own skin. That is when i hear her say “kill me". 

I feel those words hit my stomach like a metal ball thrown from a cannon. I curl up into a ball and clutch whatever spiky weed my hand can grab. I cry and I cry. I cry so much that my body starts hurting. I am absorbing the pain of the earth. 

I know that i have to get up. If I don’t get up, I won’t ever find out what happens. By this time the idea of leaving the ground is like asking me to get out of bed on a rainy day. Everything inside of me tells me to close my eyes and sleep. And just like that, faces begin to flash in my mind, one at a time. 

The first face I see is that of a little girl who looks like me. She has eyes a color that I know I have seen before, but for some reason i can’t quite put my finger on where I have seen it. I can only describe the color I am seeing as green. 

Her eyes are green.

They are the color of hope. 

I know in my heart that she is my daughter. 

The next face I see is the face of a young man. He has hair that looks like fire and the darkest eyes I have ever seen. 

His eyes are almost black. 

They are the color of power. 

I know that he is my son. 

The next face that flashes before me is the face of a girl with eyes the color of my own. She has a smile that emits a warmth  that can only be rivaled by the sun itself at dusk. I can feel her warmth hugging me like the sun hugged me. Her warmth isn’t  just hugging me, it is making me lighter somehow. Her eyes are the color of love. I know that she is  my daughter. 

I have 3 children and I feel somewhere in my heart and my body that without their mother, these children will not survive. I have to get up. 

My body is still on the ground and becoming colder by the second, when suddenly and unexpectedly two more faces flash before my eyes. They are different but the same. They are twins. 

One has long curly brown and gold hair. I can’t see the color of her eyes, but i can see a vapor coming out from her heart. The vapor is purple and pink. She is the color of grace. She is my daughter. 

My eyes remain closed, but as i breathe in and out, I can feel her vapor entering my body through my nose and making its way to my lungs and absorbing into the cells in my cold body that is quickly becoming as hard as the ground it is laying on.  This is what i imagine a balloon feels like when it is being filled with helium. She is filling me up. 

The second face i see has a long mane of red and brown hair that is a combination of my first daughter and my first son. I am able to see his eyes. His eyes are the color silver. They are the color of mercy. He is my son. 

I begin to realize what is happening as my body slowly starts to sit up. I know i don't have the physical strength on my own to get up, and yet, i am almost standing by this point. 

In what seems like a few seconds, I can feel my feet leave the ground. I am now hovering a few inches above the earth when more  faces start to quickly flash before my eyes. 

There are so many flashing so fast, and i recognize each and every one of them. I don’t know how long I have been hovering when I feel my bare feet touch the cool ground. 

I feel a jolt again, but this time the earth is absorbing me. I know that she can feel everything I feel, just like I felt everything she felt. Knowing that she can feel me, I decide to first give the earth what my five children gave me; hope, power, love, grace, and mercy. 

I can feel her begin to reverberate beneath me, she is hopeful. 

My eyes spring open and i look down at my feet. I can see what look like sound waves starting at the spot where my feet are touching the ground and rippling out in all directions. 

The longer i stand here, the stronger it gets. She is powerful. 

I look to my right and see a shovel. 

I begin to walk toward the shovel and as I am walking, I look around. I begin to see what has become of this garden. Of this earth.It is covered in trash and debris. 

It looks like someone tried to clean it a long time ago, but it is apparent they gave up. Maybe they laid down too, but weren't able to get up. How long has this garden been waiting i wonder. 

I grab the shovel with my right hand and i grab a lantern with my left. I instinctively know where everything is.

Everything i need appears exactly when and where i need it. She is loving me.

My shovel strikes the ground and from that moment, I don’t stop shoveling until my hands are almost numb. I refuse to look up or around because I know the work is daunting. Instead, I look down at the patch of earth I am shoveling.  I shovel it and water it as though the fate of the earth depends on this patch of the garden to be tended to. I continue to do this through the night. 

By the time the sun begins to rise, I have cleaned and shoveled the entire garden. I lay back down on the ground when I am finished and I close my eyes. I am not sure how much time goes by. 

Every time i close my eyes i see the faces of my children. Every time i see their faces, my strength is  renewed. 

I get back up. 

In my hand appears a bucket filled to the brim with seeds of all kinds. i feel like a flower girl at a wedding, but instead of flower pedals,  i am  throwing seeds.

She asks me to plant them. She is gracious. 

With every seed that touches my hands, my cells whisper to it "i love you" and "i believe in you", and I can hear each of them whispering it back to me. And just like that, I sprinkle the earth with seeds. 

I keep sprinkling her with seeds until my bucket is empty. i plant every single seed i have; not a single seed Is wasted. I keep walking the garden and closing my eyes so i can see, hear and feel my children. I slowly and steadily pace the garden back and forth. 

I can sense that time is passing much quicker here, but it also feels like  

time is standing still. I don’t feel hungry, thirsty or tired. I lay on the ground and close my eyes again. I feel satisfied,  I have completed my task. 

I lay face down on the ground again, and I listen. I speak to the earth with my heart, with my hands and with my words. I write poems and songs for her, i can feel her growing. I can feel her healing. 

I can hear her now saying "thank you” and as I listen closer she whispers "I love you”. She is merciful. 

She never asks me to kill her again. I never feel like i can’t get up again. I am fearless now because i know what i need to do. I get up and I walk. I can  still see the energy waves rippling under me. Always at the center of this energy wave is the very place i am standing.  

I realize for the first time that I am wearing denim cut off shorts and a yellow t-shirt. I stand up and notice that the earth isn’t  cold and hard anymore. I also notice that it is getting hot. It is more than hot, it is burning. I didn’t know the sun could be so hot. 

I can hear the earth telling me secrets about how to find relief from this intense heat. She tells me to pour water on the ground at a certain spot in the garden, and mix it with my hands. I mix the water into the earth and I make mud. 

I reach down and grab a scoop with my bare hands. “Put this mud on every part of your skin that not covered  by the denim shorts and yellow t-shirt” she said. I did as she explained and found a spot to sit under a lemon tree. 

The lemon tree is very small, it has two small lemons growing from its branches. This tree sits in the eastern corner of the garden. 

As I walk the garden, I speak with the earth. I listen to her, and she speaks back. 

She tells me she had lost hope. 

She tells me she felt weak and tired.

She tells me she felt old and useless. 

She tells me she felt unwanted and unloved. 

She tells  me that she has tried to kill herself by fire, flood and natural disasters.

She tells me she is sorry. 

She tells me that she tried to woo us humans with beautiful sweet smelling flowers to make us feel happy so that we could be happy. 

She tells me of the plants and trees that grow fruit and vegetables, so that humans and animals alike can eat, and enjoy life and freedom with our families. 

She tells me how she grows trees for us in all shapes, sizes and consistencies so that we can have shelter, so that we can create the tools for freedom for all of us. 

And at first we were happy, we enjoyed life and freedom with our families, and we had shelter and tools to ensure freedom for all of us. At first. We loved her and took care of her because she took care of us. 

Then something happened and we humans began to multiply. We started to need more and more from earth,  so she made more and more resources for us. She happily gave and gave like she always did. We happily took care of her and cared for her like we always did. 

Even when changes came, she would find a way to expand and adjust. As long as we kept spending time with her and taking care of her, we would always have everything we needed, when we needed it, just like when my feet had touched the ground in the garden. 

As we humans continued to expand and adjust, she even made us  medicine to heal our growing pains. Along with the fruit and vegetables, she made us herbs and plants that could heal us. 

She loved us so very much, and we appreciated her love in return.  She said she doesn't know exactly what happened or why, but something changed between us and we stopped caring for her like we once did. 

We started picking and storing up her fruit, vegetables, grains and medicine and we stopped sharing it with each other. 

We cut down her trees so quickly and with so much force that she had to be our shock absorber. We poured concrete over her to pave the way for ourselves. 

She adjusted and expanded and made more trees and new types of trees, but things were getting out of order. We kept using her up to make our lives easier. 

We failed to teach our children about how much she loves us. Our children did not  remember who she is. We kept cutting her trees and before long there were no trees to filter the waste we  released into the clean air. She knew it was She who was supposed to make the trees that cleaned our air, but we snatched her trees and forsook the air that our children were to breathe.  

Even though it pained her, she caused fires and floods to get our attention and make the madness stop. 

But we were relentless in our pursuit of happiness having forgotten where it came from.  

That is when we poisoned her water. We forgot that the earth cares for the animals too. We started caging our animals and treating them the way we treated her. 

We soaked our earth in the blood of the innocent, just so we could have more. In doing so, we have all but destroyed the very hand that fed us. Our mother, our earth has become hungry, thirsty and sick. 

It became very clear to me that she needs us to heal her like the infinite times and infinite ways she saved and saves us. She spoke to me and she told me so. 

I now understand why I felt the way i did the first time I touched her.  I slowly laid my body on the ground again, and I cried and cried again. 

I tell her I am sorry that I have forgotten her. 

I tell her that I am  in awe at the strength of her love for humanity. 

I tell her that i appreciate everything she has ever done for me or my kind. 

I tell her she is  beautiful. 

I tell  her that I now understand that I am nothing without her. 

She loves me and she forgives me. She tells me that the old has passed and it is no longer. She says that she remembers not what I speak of. She tells me all things are being made new.

I stand up and walk inside the house. I hadn't gone in the house yet, but I know that there is something inside that I need to give her. I need to give it to her now. It is time. 

I don’t know exactly what I will find, but I know it would be exactly what I need. As I open the sliding glass door, I feel two arms wrap around me and I hear a voice like an angel exclaiming "Mother!" "Mother is here everyone!". In the blink of an eye, I am surrounded by my children. 

There are at least 12 of them. They are all in a circle around me hugging me and kissing me telling me how much they love me. I ask them again if they love me and they almost seemed hurt that I would ask, but I want to hear their answer. I need to hear it. All of them almost In unison answer me and say “yes, of course we love you Mother". I start to cry and I ask them to come outside. 

I notice as I go back outside, how beautiful the garden is looking. My children make their way outside, and there is no need for words.  They disperse silently into the yard. They reach all four corners of the garden. 

I can see and feel that my children understand the same thing i now do. Some of them fall to their knees like i had, but most sit down slowly and cry. 

I notice a flower by the lemon tree. A beautiful pink flower. I pick it and sit down. My eldest daughter braids my hair and puts the flower in my left side. She kisses me on my forehead. 

My sons and daughters slowly begin to surround me. They all give me a kiss on my forehead. It is ok to fall asleep now. I lay down surrounded by my children, and before i know it, i fall asleep.

February 26, 2020 23:37

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Amanda C
16:42 Mar 01, 2020

Wow. I love the story that’s told here through fragments. I really like this style of writing even though some may say it’s jarring. I love that as a reader it takes you on a journey and adventure and mystery and I think as a writer perhaps you feel more freedom as you write? At least that’s how I feel. It’s funny though because stories can be harder to write even though it may seem easy to read.


Lola Rojas
03:17 Mar 02, 2020

Thank you. I wrote it as my 10 year old self who actually had this dream. I love your comment. Thank you!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Shirley Medhurst
08:01 Mar 06, 2020

I loved this! A very powerful piece of writing in which you broach a difficult subject with skill and delicacy. I do agree with Gloria about possibly overusing the word 'I'. Sometimes it might not be necessary at all (e.g. "I can sense that time is passing..." could just be "time is passing...")


Lola Rojas
18:40 Mar 06, 2020

Yes! I appreciate it. Thank you for your feedback :) it is so helpful!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Gloria Salazar
22:39 Mar 05, 2020

I enjoyed this read, it offers unique perspectives to think on. It flows rather nicely from imagery to imagery. However, I would offer the criticism, take it as you will, that in this example of your writing you use the word I rather heavily. There are many ways to indicate oneself in writing without always resorting to I. That aside it is a well written piece. It was an enjoyable and thought provoking read for me.


Lola Rojas
18:40 Mar 06, 2020

I love the feedback. I will apply this to my editing. Thank you so much!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.