Isabelle had always thought of her mind as a garden, a magical place to play as a child, when the grown-ups were having conversations and she was expected to listen politely-- and even, although she hated to admit this, later with Edward, her husband, when listening to the particularities of his carpet salesmanship wore her thin. Every year the garden grew larger, the paths longer and more complicated. Meadows of memories.
Of course, her mental garden hadn't always been well tended. There were the years when the children were young, fast-moving periods when life flew by without time for the roots of deep reflection, and yet she knew memories were created whether one pondered them or not. She had always considered that one of the luxuries of growing older would be the chance to wander through the garden that had grown while she wasn't looking. She would sit on a bench and let her mind take every path, tend every moment she hadn't paid attention to, appreciate the juxtaposition of the one memory against another.