By Karen Jie ’21

The Backyard is the sort of place you would categorize as curious. A flock of birds chirp every morning as soon as the sun rises and every Monday, a man walks out of the house to roll out a big, green box that waits in the front yard for a big, green truck. When the people aren’t being noisy, the Backyard is a peaceful place. Two pools, one big and peanut-shaped, the other small and as round as the moon, serve as a place for animals to come and drink. Some blue monster hums in its depths, making rounds underwater every once a day. A waterfall connects the two ponds, making soothing splashes all the time. The water tastes funny, though, so the only creatures who can come close are the wasps in the summer. It’s too bad that those sources of water are too close to the House, home of the people.

Many things flourish in the Backyard and you see most life in the spring and summer. Then, the yard wouldn’t be peaceful or curious. It would be lively. Hummingbirds come and go, leaving chicks behind. At night come the bats, screeching as the bobcats hunt doves. Javelinas don’t come often anymore since they ate a glass ornament on Halloween. They still come back for the pumpkins, though. When the dangerous night finally passes, you can see remnants of a dove, blood staining the walkways.

Even the prettiest roses have thorns. The Backyard does too. As beautiful as it may be, strange things still lurk in its depths. Then the Backyard can be considered a dangerous place. Sometimes the people come out to play, ruining the peace of the yard, the calm of the pools. They bring out the round, floating things and the lifeless, gigantic fish. As the little humans play, the bigger ones light a fire. They cook and a funny smell drives all the creatures of the Backyard away until the next day. And sometimes, if you wait long enough, you can see the hawk swoop down and hunt the hares or the owl cough up pack rats. Birds of prey know that things hide in the Backyard and come to hunt. Even the roadrunner, which doesn’t visit often, comes every once in awhile to enjoy a lizard or two.

But soon comes fall and then comes winter. The humans don’t come out as often. Some years, the pools freeze up and the monster inside lies still, resulting in the pool turning green. The insects disappear and the birds stop singing. There is silence and not one cicada or cricket chirp. Sometimes there is snow, other times there isn’t. The owl sits there still, staring at nothing. But the thing about winter, the thing that makes it special, is the clear sky. You see the star? The moon? When you think of the Backyard in winter, you would think it cold and lifeless.

Winter doesn’t last long in the Backyard and soon, the frost stops biting, the cicadas chirp, and the monster of the pool makes its rounds once again. Everything comes back to life. The rains come and the flowers bloom. The raptors are back in the business and the hares are on the run. Then, comes spring. Then, comes summer. Then, comes fall. Then, comes winter. The seasons take their turns as does the circle of life. That’s normal, here in the yard. So when, or if, you refer to the Backyard in general, you say: beauty.