Lamma Island, 2:30PM – Hot.
A gardener visits me and shows me all the jasmine around my house. They pick blossoms, hold them for me to sniff, and then toss each one unceremoniously, as if littering. I laugh. Though they are not someone who would litter, they have perfected its dismissiveness. They also know four languages and all the plants. The gardener makes me laugh and feel as if I am in a novel, one without urgency. A slow novel, perfect for summer, terrible for winter.
The gardener is overcome by the sight of white ginger flowers blooming in an overgrown field, now a swamp, near my house. I think but cannot confirm that it was a rice paddy at one point. The gardener nods but also cannot confirm.
The gardener grabs the tall stalk of a ginger flower with the authority of someone who gardens regularly. Unfazed by moisture. Unsurprised by texture. Unafraid of insects. The swamp senses a professional and retaliates by providing no footing. The flower retaliates by providing no give. I retaliate by providing no shears. The gardener is defeated but not unhappy. What a smile.