A Garden for Nymphs and Angels

Shadows repeat themselves on cream-coloured marble. Nymphs of the wind giggle behind stone pillars and dissolve into air and sunlight. The cloister surrounds a garden with a stone fountain on which an angel weeps; encased in marble and robed in gossamer, she has been crying for centuries now. Silence hangs upon a thousand threads that glitter in perpetual sunlight. Lace-like capitals engraved with acanthus leaves on each pillar create an illusion of weightlessness, as though the cloistered garden is not a garden at all, but a mirage of one. Laughing faces adorn the walls, but when the shadows shift, they seem to be crying instead. And though each flower in the garden blushes and breathes its fragrance into the air, they have never lived, and can therefore never die. For the skies never rain and the wind never pauses, and, indeed, there is no door for the gardener.

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