Garden’s Colonnade ended at the Maze. When I was little, I was terrified of the Maze, terrified that I would be lost forever inside. To make me less frightened, Mom gave me our Flamingos. She placed them so that I could always see one, no matter where in the Maze I wandered, their tall necks like beacons in the blinding hedge. Even though they were carved from a stone Mom called green verdite, they didn’t feel like rock. Instead they felt real, elfin; their carved feathers were silken soft, and kind, inlaid-black eyes pooled deep and ageless, reflecting their back souls that talked to me in their thoughts. Touching their large curved wings felt like touching safety, even when I was in the most hidden part of Maze, where paths spilled deceivingly in all directions.
The first time I went alone into the Hedge Maze, the Flamingos called as I weaved and zigzagged.
“You are the most wonderful,” the first Flamingo said, bringing me close.
“I am?” I asked, stroking its neck to calm my thumping heart.
“Magnificent actually,” called another, singing me onward.
“The loveliest of girls,” tinkled a third, as I rounded the bend to where it waited.
“We will always be friends,” promised the fourth, Flamingo’s neck curving down to reach my hand.
“Will we?” I asked, hopeful, happy at the thought.
“Always,” the final Flamingo assured, its beak lifted in the direction of the green, arched exit.
“Always and forever” my Flamingos chimed in chorus as I left Maze. Finally, safely on its other side, I entered the stone courtyard that held Lion Table like a monument at its center.
[Excerpt Landslide, Page 89]