April 1, 2021
With her spectacles pinching the bridge of her nose, eighty-year-old Mary was swaying on her rocking chair as she carefully knitted a cardigan for her five-year-old granddaughter. Turning six in a week’s time, Angela had especially requested her grandmother to knit a navy-blue sweater with the intricate floral designs that she had recently become infatuated with. Having started a couple of weeks ago, Mary had completed her assigned task with an all-encompassing conscientiousness and diligence, all conspicuous in the immaculate piece of clothing that laid neatly opened in her lap.
Having been well-accustomed to sewing and knitting an array of garments, producing a sweater was not a challenge; the main complication laid in putting together the design that her granddaughter coveted for on almost all of her clothes. Trying to make sense of the new technology (iPad), Mary struggled to turn it on by entering the passcode her daughter had told her and then swiping across the pictures Angela had screenshotted for her ease. Scrutinizing it, Mary observed the way the centrally embellished orange bronze chrysanthemum was entwined with a half tree branch and the stalk of a separate pink rose, producing an attractive concoction of nature and ingenuity that had certainly appealed to her emotions, a pleasant, nostalgic feeling that was driving her down a memory lane.
A memory spiraled inside of her. Trying to trace it, she felt as if her heart and mind were leading to a place that was vague and hazy. Specifically, the words “HIGH FIELD TOWN” reverberated in her mind as Mary constantly gazed at the dazzling pattern, delving into another impalpable world. Mary, a 15-year-old girl then, did not consider the heavenly street ideal based on the dwelling of affluent people or the existence of sumptuous mansions there; rather, it was the calmness, serenity, and the tranquility of that town that made her want to rush there over and over again. The composed and untroubled atmosphere was what captivated her, for back in her hometown peace and the unperturbed environment were two things that could scarcely be found in an ample amount.
At the start of the seemingly blessed path, Mary used to be greeted by an enormous date palm tree that signaled the advent of some grand beach resort. This flowering plant species stood there all alone with its leaves and leaflets all directed at the sky as if wanting to accentuate the beauty of the horizon that engulfed the enormous red and yellow Sun settled between the withering clouds. Though it was just a twenty-minute walk from her school to home, Mary sometimes preferred this leisure walk, a walk away from the chaotic life of her family. The entire paved road appeared as an endless, grey-black carpet that Mary wished she could stroll on to her heart’s content. Probably the finest part associated with that small journey was the blend of discrete flora, all situated alongside the road with their canopies fixed into each other’s branches like a jigsaw puzzle, providing an olive-green, dense blanket. What could provide one with a perfect imagination than just gazing at the embodiment of a linear, flat road, sheltered by the enormous branches (some coupled with miniature-sized flowers), tangled into each other with the sun trying to disseminate its rays through whatever vacant space it could find between the branches.
The doorbell rang and Mary suddenly shook in her chair as if coming alive from an indecipherable world that she, at a point in her life, was a part of.