Originally published on July 12, 2012, this story is based on a man we often see on our walks around the small lake only a few blocks from our house, fact presented as fiction in 100 words.
Lakeside for our evening walk, we see him in the garden, engendering life, whatever the weather. His garden is verdant: deep green leaves, fruits and vegetables of varying hues, brilliant flowers. A radio sometimes shatters the silence (whether he’s nearby or not—perhaps to keep away birds.) We attempt a compliment, but he speaks no English. “Beautiful garden”, accompanied by an expressive gesture including the whole. He smiles; we smile. He sounds eastern European, lives with his daughter and her husband, wrapped in his lack of English, speaking through his garden and the trellised grapevines that shelter and surround it.