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Human beings, like plants, grow in the soil of acceptance not in the atmosphere of rejection Or When someone prizes

us just as we are he or she confirms our existence The old man looked outside the cold frosted window of his house to the unkempt lawn which was too unruly for him to tend. The house was box-like, made of wood with steel frames to reinforce it but they were beginning to rust. Twenty years ago the house was in its prime and filled with laughter, now all that was left,in the shadow of the halls was the echo of the years gone by. The old man once had a son but, as the years floated away so had their relationship, leaving the old man alone to tend to his sick wife. Without support from his son the old man made a living for the two tending to other gardens beside his own, he dreamed to one day escapewith his wife. The old man hated going outside, as he always felt the prying eyes of the people surrounding him on the streets. He had lost his left eye and the scars on his face still haunted him as a memento of the sacrifices he had made. As the years went by, the old man excelled in his gardening and as a result he was constantly sought after by the town’s people. Every daybefore he left the old man would ensure his wife was taken care of. On one early spring day the old man heard about the “Blooming Flowers Contest” where gardeners in the town would compete against each other to prove who the best gardener was. The old man for once had a purpose; he swelled up with determination to prove he was stronger than the shadows of scars that surrounded him like a dark cloud. The old man rented out a plot of land to begin tending to. In the beginning the plot of land was filled with thick vines growing throughout, but slowly day by day the old man cleared the shrubbery, and began his masterpiece. Whilst the old man was preoccupied with winning, his wife slowly wilted away. By the time the man was done he had an elaborate plot of land, where the soft buzzing of bees could be heard and wafts of lavender and jasminecame and left in delicate waves. The aroma of jasmine caused his nostrils to flare with excitement and before he knew it, he was entrapped by the euphoria of being surrounded by grass and flora. It was also a place flowing with camellias, hydrangeas andother flowers of all sorts.At the tended plot he felt amongst his kin. The moment the old man clutched at the award he became gradually more popular; the people who wanted him filled the void where his son should have been. The old man was now treated by others as if his face was perfect But as the old man became busier, his own garden grew more unruly and his wife became sicker. Slowly the day approached whenshe would walk out and his son would walk back in. the old man sat alone in the cold white room waiting for the person who would either make him stronger or shatter him. All the old man could think about was the ever lasting memory of his family. While sitting in the cold white room the old man reminisced about a golden summer’s day which happened long ago when his wife was still healthy and his son still loved him. On that day the old man thought of a pungent red rose which his wife had once planted, since like him she loved flowers. He remembered joys of seeing his wife and his young son before him, with his son digging his nails into the soil whilst carrying the largest grin the man ever saw. The rose plant like the rest of his garden had been suffocated by the weeds over the years and later all that remained was a woody dead shoot to signify the plant that stood there once.

The old man started to tend to more gardens since the death of his wife; while other gardens became flourished his own became increasing chaotic. But one day he began to notice a change. Slowly the weeds crept back to the darkness they had come from and the rose bush started germinating the buds of a new season. The old man couldn’t understand why his garden had begun tending to itself. Nevertheless as the old man kept tending to other gardens and improving them so did his own. Eventually the old man’s age caught up with him and he died later in the year from exhaustion or heart ache. At the base of a birch tree at the wooden box-like house which was reinforced with rusting steel sat a napping young man with a simple red rose taking a break from what he sowed.