As far back as you can remember you have always gone to your Grandmother’s house on Sunday. It was always a rickety old house in the midst of the thinning trees just large enough for the roof to poke through the patches of lanky branches and small plants lucky enough to survive the parched grounds. Despite its surroundings, your Grandmother’s house had many fond memories to shake its ragged form from your mind. It was a place you have known to love since childhood and always a sanctuary from the many toils of everyday life in the woodlands.
The sides of the house were feeble and covered in moss so thick it was as though the house itself grew a coat of green fur to hide in the woods. It had always been a mystery why the lands could barely keep the greens of new life, while the house itself, though meager seemed to be alive with new sprouts peaking through the wooding. You touched one of the moss patches absentmindedly as you pass and sigh as it collapsed under your fingers. Peeking in the window you found a kitchen as barren as the woods that surrounded the house.
Making your way to the back, you crept as to not disturb your Grandmother incase she was sleeping. Edging your way to the backyard you think of drinking from your Grandmother’s spring. In the backyard a pool of water lay stagnant yet always fresh. The rocks that held the spring into place were old and worn down from the water though no movement brushed their defenses down. Every so often the water would have a ripple run across its surface, though nothing was around to disturb it. No wind, no animal, yet signs of life danced across the slight pond.
When entering the pond one felt refreshed. When drinking of the pond one could have dreams and omens presented by the most unlikely of creatures. When sitting on the rocks near the pond, a mist seemed to cover only confusion and doubt and clear thought was present. It was a treasure few knew about and many heard rumors of. It was not the only water source in the woods that could transform someone as such. However the dingy home seemed out of place and those seeking the calming, cleansing waters would overlook it. You knew better. You knew the greenery was a sign of life and asked to help dig up a pond. At first your Grandparents refused, thinking nothing could grow after the great draught. When you disobeyed their wishes to leave it be, there was a spring of water, shooting from the ground like a clear tree growing, reaching for life and branching out only to fall to the ground and loosen the dry earth.
Your Grandfather passed away before the pond was finished. It was not a surprise as many have died after the draught came. More often than not, you catch your Grandmother in the pond, in those moments she looks more healthy and vibrant than she has in years. Slowing down, half behind a tree you steal a glance toward the pond. As the years go by the trees are slowly growing in and enclosing the area to hide it from prying eyes. You see your Grandmother humming a tune she knew from childhood and scooping up the water into a pail. She sighs and drops the contents of the bucket back into the pond. You steps out to greet your Grandmother.
“Still no luck, Grandma?” You ask already knowing the answer.
“No matter what I try, the water is murky and distorted if I remove it. It’s clean and fresh so long as it is in its own habitat, but as soon as the bucket leaves the vicinity of the pond, it becomes putrid and foul. If only we could find a way to take it with us.”