Cecily's accomplice in the garden-realm is Old Rivens--the sweet, wrinkled, devoted, stubborn-as-a-mule old servant. Together they revitalize an overgrown estate garden.
Their most recent project was to plant several small saplings they had been carefully cultivating for months to replace a stand of dead and dying pines. They worked side by side in silence for hours, digging into the loamy forest floor with their shovels. Cecily broke the lull by accidentally sloshing Rivens with a bucket of water. They had a good laugh about it, then a few minutes later Cecily noticed a dreamy, reflective look in his eye. Sure enough, in a moment he said, “I s’pose I will be washed and buried long before this little thing is full grown.”
Cecily fitted another sapling securely into its hole in the ground and began filling in around it. “Yes, and so will I, like as not. But what does that signify? We aren’t doing any of this for ourselves. We’re doing it because it will be done. It’s an act of creation. Do you remember what the vicar of Whitcrowe used to say? That there was a reason that God started it all in a garden.”
“Yea, I remember it. He was right on that count, even if he weren’t quite right on some others…”
Cecily gave a little laugh and finished tamping down moist earth around the roots. “I agree.”