The night exhaled the scent of jasmine into her nostrils. She opened her eyes and peered into the darkness. She could hardly make out the outline of the jasmine tree’s branches. The pot with the tree had been removed by a friend who had taken the jasmine tree but the branches clung to the little hedge and still flowered. It was a curious thing to ponder on really. How those flowers could still bloom and the leaves still stay green while the tree had been snipped away from them was another of the mysteries of life. She went back inside her room where the darkness was thicker and lay her head on the pillow. She would check tomorrow if the leaves had begun to wither finally and she would then disentangle them from the hedge and cast them away.
The next morning was a gloomy grey morning as the dust from an oncoming sandstorm piled into the skies. She went to check the hedge and surely enough after their display of frantic desire to survive the branches were going limp and some leaves had turned yellow. The flowers too seemed withered and forlorn. She wondered if she should take them off right now or wait for all the leaves to become yellow before she would throw them in the bin. Looking at those desperate branches made her think of the eventuality of what consciousness went through when the body came to pass. Did all people’s consciousness linger desperately for a while without a body trying to find a way back into this life or unlike the flowers did they just stop blooming and join the collective consciousness the minute the body’s time ended ?
The dust in the air thickened and she could feel her throat going hoarse as the particles invaded her nostrils and found their way into her lungs. She sneezed as the wind picked up moving more dust her way. The branches heaved on the hedge and some of the yellow leaves flew with the wind before it settled bringing them to the ground. She reached out into the hedge and started easing the branches off it. As she piled the leaves into a heap, the wind picked up again and the branches scattered all across the pathway. The sky grew darker as more sand flew with the wind walling off the sun’s rays. She continued easing off the branches and finally gathering them together she cast them into the bin outside the gate. As she entered the house she could still smell the wane scent of jasmine mingled with the unmistakable sandy smell of the dust in the wind.
Hush she said and the woods were silent. The pitter-patter of raindrops a deafening sound covering her waning heartbeat. Hush she said and the rain softly subsided, an occasional drop on a leaf resounding like a thud in her head. Hush she said and the leaves ceased caressing the wind, their whispers fading into the rising dusk. Hush she said and the blood in her veins slowed tenfold until she could hear the drip like a background music to the occasional flap of wings of a cawing crow shaking off the rain. Hush she said and the darkness engulfed her with its palpable silence like a long forgotten and well-worn cloak. Hush she said her eyes finally closing, her soul softly embracing the dark night.