We entered the garden with insect repellent on hand, ready to spray ourselves again if the first go proved ineffective. It had taken all of five minutes to convince my sister to leave the group gathered around the fire roasting corn, but here we were at last. The dirt path we were treading on was rough and uneven. I could feel each rock through my Converse. I drank everything in, wishing I had thought to bring a camera to photograph each flower I spotted. Amid the peppers and tomatoes, the yellow beauties looked like treasures that had somehow gotten mixed up in a heap of dirt.
Up ahead I saw my mother analyzing the corn rows carefully, stopping to pick the golden ears that were ready to be harvested. A feeling of complete freedom settled deep inside of me as I watched the clouds float through the purple sky, the smoke swirling towards the heavens, and the green of the leaves that meant life was coursing through each plant. I thought about where I was two years ago with each step. How caged I had felt to nothing but my own imagination. Out here on this path that my aunt crossed everyday to lovingly tend to her vegetables, I realized how free I was. Free to breathe knowing that only my actions mattered in the end, as it was the face in the mirror I would have to face everyday and not other people.
We reached the end of the path, where the corn and the pine trees meet forming a seemingly endless forest, and I realized I'm on the path I want to be.