Waterford Lane

tThere’s a street by my house that I could watch all day. Simply because if I stand at the top of its hill in the middle of the road and stare it down I bare witness to the lives of the Jacarandas that line it. These beautiful trees provide shade for the domestic workers that sit under them, enable forests in the minds of the children who race down the avenue with their bikes- pedaling furiously and squealing if cars zoom past. They also bless poetic license for dramatics like me who like to stand at the top, in the middle and contemplate.

Waterford Lane is definitely my favourite.

The first person I showed it to was cold in both personality and temperature. We huddled and shivered in our wooly hats and thick jerseys, clutching onto each other while I showed him a bit of my heart and made him stand at the top of the hill and watch the bare branches survive.

“It’s not that great is it? I’m sure it would look prettier in summer when the Jacarandas have actually bloomed.”

I interpreted it as an accidental metaphor for me, that I’d be prettier and better in more pleasant weather. So like all cold hearts do, he broke mine, and I vowed that whoever can stand at the top of my little stretch of poetic paradise, stare it down, and declare it the most wonderful scrap of beauty he’s ever seen will be mine for as long as I could stand him.

It happened on the second try, different boy, different day, same cold, and a violent spirit.

“It’s beautiful, the trees feel like home and the light looks so precious in its dance through the dead branches.”

Yes. It’s you, you see it, you wouldn’t change anything about the road, or the sky, or the weather. It’s all you.

It wasn’t him.

Why?

Because I can’t decide to love someone based on what they say about my favourite piece of Earth. It doesn’t reflect how he is when he’s angry or what he’s like when he’s drunk. It’s not divine providence that he loves my road and my trees, he was in a good mood. If he were angry he would have taken an axe and cut it to pieces and he would have loved doing it.

Having someone love your patch of the universe doesn’t mean they’ll respect it.

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