"It's that time of year again!" Exclaims my gardener.
"Oh, is that so?" I ask tentatively from my balcony.
"It sure is! Do you know that in the warmer climate your marigolds will actually begin to sweat and pant like dogs?"
"No, I didn't know that."
"One thing that you can do is to bring out an umbrella and offer some shade to your flowers. They'll really appreciate the gesture."
"That sound easy enough. Come on up so I can pay you!"
The gardener nods and puts down the rake he's been holding. I walk back inside and put a kettle full of almond milk on the stove.
The front door opens and the gardener pokes his head in. "Hi, it's me!! Haha!"
I pretend to laugh.
"Listen, before I leave I'll walk you through watering the flowers so you'll feel confident doing it yourself!"
"Do you think they'll need to be watered while you're away?"
The gardener makes a face of surprise. "Well yes, I'm gone for two months! These plants need water three times a day!"
The gardener takes his watering can to the sink, fills it, and then makes his way to the balcony. "Come!"
Once on the balcony he hands me the can. "Go ahead! Offer up some water to these thirsty plants!"
"You know I'm actually a bit uncomfortable with this. I- I don't really like doing this kind of thing."
"Oh come on, give it a go! It's not as bad as it looks!"
I moan quietly under my breath. My stomach starts to churn and I feel my eyesight begin to betray me. I lift the can over the flowers. "Ah! I don't think I can go on with this!"
"Release some water and complete the task that you've started!"
A small amount of water begins to leave the end of the can and sprinkle onto the flowers. There's two seconds of absolute terror in my heart and then it suddenly vanishes.
It's replaced with bliss, absolute bliss. I look around me as the water continues to pour. The colours are growing more vivid and suddenly I feel a deep connection to the universe.
I look over at the gardener who is smiling back at me.
"There you go my friend. You've now seen the truth!"