In the garden

László Villányi

In the garden: other gardens in time. Gethsemane. My grandparents’ garden in Beregszász, with currant bushes at the back. Seen daily, yet unknown garden, where I ate the gooseberries in fear. My parents’ garden, where I dug a hole for the apple-tree. The garden, dreamed beside the rail.
The garden does not stand rushing. Man never stops on the street aimlessly, but does in the garden. He can discover nine long-eared owls, sitting on the pear-tree. He can touch the dandelion and see the perfect genesis. He can watch the zigzag of the peacock-butterfly, the rust brown weaver and the cabbage-butterfly. If he watched more carefully, he would know that the fore wings of the male dawn-butterfly are marked with orange colors, and the color of the female is black or dark gray.
In the garden you can look back to see yourself in the past. From the arch of the rotten capsicum, and from the branches of the half-dead peach-tree.
He plants the potato, the corn, and when he is digging the potato and breaking the corn, he is summing the time passed between.
In the garden, we can witness the fulfillment of the apple, the peach and the grapes. How it fulfills itself. The pleasure, in the garden – when you taste the flesh of the plum – makes you always happy.
We can chat with the garden. If we ask properly, he will answer the question. Answer with a touch or a quiver. If we deserve it, he plays music. We can hear the eternal rhythm or the surprising improvisation. The frostbitten silence.
In the garden you can see how different are the wing beats of the swallow and the woodpecker, the stork and the gray heron.
Your fingers touch the bark of the trees, the milk-corn, hold the tomato, the kohlrabi and your face strokes the leaves of the grapes and the apple-tree. You can be joyful, because of their otherness.
If you are lucky, maybe you can finger the velvet of the mole’s skin, and watch how he sinks into the soil. One night you can listen for the grunting hedgehogs, sneaking to their meeting.
I like most to step into the garden barefooted. Feeling the cracks of the earth, the tiny lumps and the coldness of the grass.
I watch the garden squatting, when I pick the strawberries. I watch from the height of the raspberry-bushes, from the cherry-tree. I see the spread of the roots under the soil.
I can exist in the garden. To live in light at dawn, in fragrances of the morning, in flavors of the afternoon, in sounds at night.
The garden is eternal and yet not. Can’t be too large to lose its intimacy. Its freedom is not boundless. However, upwards and inwards the garden is endless.
In the garden, the weaving spider, the pear-biting wasp, the ripening strawverry and the flying swan towards the river live an other time.
The garden has his own will. In it the law of the world.
Standing on the soil of the garden – the granules of the molehill in our palms – we can be freed of our earthiness.
I stop by the fence. With all the flavors of the garden in my mouth, I hear its breathing. I am still I, but already more. Not lost, I just find myself. At the same time I can feel freedom and homey. It is I, but not occupying my being, just simply living it. From the garden I step into my inner-garden.
Garden-fragments: boxes on the balcony, flower-pots in the bedroom. Behind them the lack of the garden. Memories of the garden.
Without man, the garden grows wild. What is man turning into without the garden?


Translation by
Zsolt Bede-Fazekas und Allan Briesmaster