Cavanaugh Family Nursery
[Dan had] been twenty three, back home in Oberon for the first time in almost five years. As he ambled through the big, empty greenhouse that day, he had been aware of a growing sense of dejection. Despite the brilliantly gold, late afternoon sunlight that filtered in through the frosted windows, there was a heaviness in his chest that even the familiar scents of clean soil and chlorophyll could not dispel. Five years he had been away from this place, and in all that time, had anything changed?
He had practically grown up here. He’d worked weekends and summers for as far back as he could remember. Until he could no longer stand either the sight or the smell of the place, nor endure, for even one more minute, the constant bickering with his father over every last little detail of the running of it.
When he left Oberon for college he vowed he’d never step foot in the place again.
And yet here he was, about to temporarily take over as nursery manager while his parents were off on a long anticipated tour of Europe. font>
He’d hoped that spending the summer here would give him the chance to figure out for himself if anything had changed in the last five years. But, five minutes had already been long enough for him to make a start. font>
First, he now knew that there was no way he could spend the rest of his life locked away in some office or classroom. He needed to work with his hands. He needed to spend at least part of each day outdoors. And he needed the connection to the earth with which he’d grown up. He’d missed all of that these last five years--more than he ever imagined he could. font>
Unfortunately, thanks to his second revelation, he also knew that he could never be truly happy working for somebody else. So unless things around here had changed enough for him to handle coming back on a permanent basis, then he very much feared that he was effectively out of options where his future was concerned.
And so far, everything around him seemed all too depressingly the same.
©PG Forte 2005
A Taste of Honey
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