Smoke Four

A small patio shelters one half of the small garden from the rain and sun, the white posts of its supports ringed by vines of an almost glowing green. I remember the smooth concrete floor and the warm blue walls from my first encounter with the house, on that spacey day when I would have signed the lease on a dump. I was that happy. Spacelight is important. In the small shed at the back of the garden, I reach down and find what I’ve been seeking – the large olive oil tin, slightly dusty but otherwise free of rust. From my toolkit I take steel-cutting scissors and gouge off the top of the tin, cleaning it and then filling it with composted earth from the old worm farm. The olive oil tin’s about two thirds filled with good stuff, and I plant the Vietnamese mint deep in that solid goodness, watering the transplanted herb with water from the house’s secured rooftop collector. I wander around pulling curtains back, opening Windows to the soft rain opera of the morning.

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