Header image
    a true story about rape
line decor
        NW Spirit Publishing
line decor
 
 
 
 

 
 

THE GARDEN SONG
a true story about rape

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is a vacationer’s paradise, attracting an international guest list to its tranquil lake shores. Pink flowering plums promenade along the walkway by City Beach, against a backdrop of still snow capped mountains. On Sunday afternoons, sunbathers are serenaded by the sounds of seagulls competing with strands of live music drifting over from the Rotary Band Shell in the Park.

It resembles a watercolor illustration in a child’s storybook; beautiful, gentle, and safe. But things begin to change in the spring of 2003. An unknown intruder, preying on women living alone, began eroding the trust of this small town. By fall, the list of victims had grown to include women from 28 to 82-years-old, the police still had no one in custody, and the community was feeling edgy.

A series of alarming coincidences push the author into pursuing her own answers, even when it means confronting her worst fears. With amazing compassion, Calvert discovers a world very different than what she had known.

Weaving together the vivid contrasting colors of two lives into a landscape of forgiveness, Calvert writes courageously of her descent into darkness. “Just like a tiny seed needs to remain buried in the dark, cold earth through the winter, sometimes I need to allow myself to go into the darkness before I can sprout new growth and bloom once again.”

Garden metaphors intertwine gently through the tale, like the tendrils of a vine reaching for the sun, as she leads us down pathways that merge innocence with the horrific.

 

FINDING A SONG TO SING
excerpt from "The Garden Song"

I head into the Holiday Season unenthusiastically. Ever since reading James Michener’s Mexico years ago, I think of ancient Mayan and Aztec rituals of human sacrifice this time of year as I count the days until the Winter Solstice and the returning light.

I jump at the harsh sound of a buzzer before I realize that it is just the timer announcing the end of a laundry cycle. I set my coffee down, shuffle slowly toward the clothes dryer and bend over to open the door. I pull out an old favorite black velvet shirt that I haven’t worn in almost four years and bury my face in the warm, sweet smelling softness. After all that has happened, I wonder how I’ll feel about wearing it again, infused now with memories that have shaped who I have become.

“Anniversaries can be haunting,” I acknowledge to myself. As November darkness settles in, I notice myself becoming more unsettled. I try to work at the computer but I can’t seem to concentrate. I get up for another cup of coffee, trying to artificially jump-start my inspiration. I yearn to feel excited about something. But instead, only grayness overlays the thin sunshine spilling into my home office, a penetrating gloom, a deep fear that leaves me feeling like there is something I am missing, something I should have done or something I still need to do. What am I forgetting?

I hear a noise. I cautiously push myself up out of the burgundy leather office chair in front of my computer and make my rounds once again with cell phone in hand; first checking the French doors that open onto the back patio from the kitchen. I make sure that the wooden dowels in the sliding glass windows at ground level are all securely in place and tug on the front entry doors to reassure myself that they are tightly latched. I get a glass of water, hoping to regain my emotional balance. I want to feel motivated again. Instead, fear crowds out creativity as I wait for it to be over.

Waiting…waiting…waiting for the darkness to recede.

I desperately needed to find the light in my own life again, but murky memories still intrude.

 




The Garden Song - a true story about rape

THE GARDEN SONG
A true story about rape
by Cheri Calvert

"The Garden Song"
on YouTube performed by:
The David Mallett Trio
Arlo Guthrie

Pete Seeger
John Denver & The Muppets

 
    © 2009 Cheri Calvert

    web dev by www.CheriCalvert.com