There’s a little space between our house and the next. A strip of concrete between the front gate and back. Gray stairs — one, two, three — down from the cottage to the pavement. Someone at some time in the past dropped seeds in the dirt that lines the walkway. Earlier this spring, alley flowers popping up in bright oranges caught my eye through the bathroom window. I wandered out and found a certain beauty in the poppies surround the concrete and bricks and weeds.
I started to take my books and my bright blue journal out to the three steps to sit in the fresh air. The sun comes and goes in the weather particular to our Colorado springtimes. When it shines, it’s blinding off the pavement and my book pages. And then just as quickly it jumps behind a cloud and my eyes struggle to adjust.
There are little black ants that dance around my feet and shadows. Mostly we leave each other alone. Sometimes they take courageous expeditions onto my leg or reclined arm. I reward them with a swift little flick away. They scurry off to regroup for their next offensive.
It feels like my own secret garden with the alley poppies and the ants and the intermittent sunshine. Back there behind our ivy covered gate.