"Do you remember how it was?"
Of course they did. They all did.
Tiny tinkling chimes, fragile sound belying sure strength and a fine prospect of continuing, like magician's dust floated from Esme(e)'s vest pocket. Dipping in a hand she cupped the musical timepiece into her palm.
Porcelain face adorned, little dials indicated time in other realms, realms of time,
other times. The world had expanded.
"Of course we do."
"How could we forget?"
"What would be the point of forgetting?"












        The garden was perfect. The women suspected Carrie had done it. When questioned,
that is to say, when the question floated launched lazily but with interest it drifted buoyantly, guiltless, without memory or bias in warming air sweetened by herbs, roses and hyacinths, Carrie blushed.
        Swept paths marked the ways to praiseworthy arrangements and to vistas, glimpses there between the laurels, poplars, jacarandas, over the thick warm wall glowing welcome apricot its plastered expanse bringing forth espaliers and in the corners avocado and citrus, but along the paths, other paths, there seemed always to be other paths, turns, pleasures, dainty delights in a perfect garden, in this 1, little sweet williams crimson  or white, nodding daisies, taller cosmos, burgeoning dahlias round which twined pink sweet peas and brilliant morning glories and nasturtiums from the East, from the West poinsettias, and northern fruit trees in pots and Italian almonds.
        At their feet medicinals for care and cure, for beauty, marigolds for warning, violets for love.