It started like any other day a rapid fire series of events each more mundane than the last, but at last the day was hers thought Gretch.  She wandered through the house loving the cool breeze blowing in through the many open windows and the quiet.  God how she missed all the quiet.  Not the absolute silence that filled up awkward moments or rooms of testing students, but the quiet of a shady spot in the garden filled only with the sounds of nature.  That was what she truly missed when she gave herself the okay to think about it.
Gretch knew the move was necessary there was no use for her advanced degrees in the small town she called home, though it had been years since she officially resided there.  Flower beds filled with the aroma of potting soil, shade trees, and fountains were for vacations, if you could ever find the time or money to go on one that is, not for every day not in the city anyway.  Moving there had been an adventure, but city life turned out to be very different from the city life she had glimpsed on t.v. and movies.  The 30 story not so high-rise didn’t offer a view or a rooftop garden; so even though Gretch often felt the crushing weight of the looming metal buildings to be suffocating she stayed and walked the two miles to work each day so excited to enter the university grounds which were always manicured and lush.  However, when the opportunity presented itself to move to a sister university a half-days dive out of the city she jumped at the chance ignoring everyone’s warnings about the hit her career track would take.  To Gretch, however, it made perfect sense, no pay raise but a better title and a chance to flee the metal and concrete that haunted her every step.
The move out of the city was not as idyllic as she had bargained for either.  The non pay bump meant that she could not afford the gorgeous manor style houses that positively dripped with English ivy and box hedge gardens.  Instead Gretchen found herself the proud, but not so proud, owner of a tiny bungalow only 15 minutes by bike from campus whose previous owner had thought that a rock garden was the best fit for the postage stamp of a backyard, the six inches of grass between her front stoop and the sidewalk were barely worth notice or mention as it was possible to trim the space with household scissors in under ten minutes.  Still, determined to reinvent her tiny plot of land she spent all of her free time pulling the multi-hued stones from the back one 10 quart bucket at a time.  In a moment of sheer generous she had worked out a barter system with the family owned garden center a couple of blocks over in which each wagon load of buckets filled with stones would equate to a 20 dollar store credit.  Gretch was bouncy with glee as she walked her final wagon load to the store imagining what her $300 in store credit at Russell and Ivy’s could buy her in the way of a flower filled retreat when she stopped short.  It had taken her at least a month to pull out that last wagon full of rocks which it appeared was more than enough time for Russell and Ivy to go under if the Sorry We’re Closed sign and empty back lot were anything to judge by.  The walk home was long and though she tried to remain positive about how she would just have to do it $20 dollars at a time Gretch felt the loss of her imagined retreat rather deeply.  Resisting the urge to fling the last wagon load of rock all over her now stone free backyard she instead created a border around her patio where she had planned to plant her favorite annual petunias.
Gretchen tried to avoid making direct eye contact with her depressing backyard and as such over the next few weeks weeds replaced the rocks.  One sunny weekend when she could avoid it no longer Gretch walked into the backyard and waged war on the weeds as if they were choking out her nonexistent garden, but for some reason she did not dig up the small sprouts that had come up within the stone border for her petunias looking back at them with a sigh before she walked back into the house.
So, it was on that day like any other when she felt the breeze that Gretch was drawn to the window.  A small sound escaped her lips as she clutched the windowsill breathing hard, one teardrop fell off her cheek a prism of rainbows.  There in the flower bed one of the weed sprouts had turned out to be the bright pink bloom of an impatient.  Okay, okay she thought to herself it might take longer than I wanted, but one day that quiet is going to be mine and as she turned away she smiled.
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