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The Garden of Worlds

A faint clap of thunder
Clouded skies
Perhaps rain comes
If so, will you stay here with me?

Yukari in The Garden of Words by Shinkai Makoto,
from Man’yōshū, Book 11, verse 2,513

1 – The Garden of Worlds, part 1

As the clouds start to gather ominously over me, I walk faster on this forest lane. I think I lost my way, and I might get soaked soon. Ahead, I spot a greenhouse. Intrigued, I can see potted blue bulbs from outside the window panels. Nobody seems to be there. I open the door and step inside. I leave my bag on the floor and look around. I come closer to the clay pots.

They don’t host plants. These are small planets. Is it a conservatory of worlds?

Fascinated, I reach to one of the tiny earths when an electronic sounding voice startles me.
“Welcome to the Garden of Worlds. You might think I’m a god cultivating multiple worlds. ” I haven’t thought of this at all, but, frozen, I listen. “You can call me the Gardener. You see, these globes represent different futures for Earth, but they’re drying and withering away. You’re the first person to come in today. Would you help me water them with your hope?”

Is it a metaphor? I relax. This person or AI doesn’t seem dangerous. I think about greenhouses, and how comforting they can be, however ruined the world might be around it. Whoever is watching me now, I will share these moments.

…. More on my blog OpheliaAutumn.com! The Garden of Worlds