19

 A garden: perhaps thirty by eighty feet, filled with row-planted vegetables, flowering plants, small trees, ornamental borders. The soft, rich soil is immaculately groomed, bordered on all sides by cement or sidewalks; we're in a city neighborhood. I and others with many different tools are working in the garden, though actually I seem to be standing back to admire it. Responsibility for the garden is divided among us all...
 A plot of land might be sold to a man I do not know. I confuse this land with the garden. I see a picture of the land to be sold, a view from above, an aerial photo or a very detailed map. The plot to be sold is marked off by a darker color. An enormous tree stump grows in the middle of it, which means it can't possibly be the garden, but I feel a looming threat, perhaps that the new owner could remove the stump, level the land, then build or grow something that may damage the garden somehow. This disturbs me but I don't know why...
 Backhoes are tearing up the sidewalk that bordered the garden. The garden is smoothed flat and completely barren; not even a weed grows in it. I feel bewildered because I do not know what has happened - did animals eat the plants? were they harvested? were they ruined by the construction machines?...
 I walk briskly to find the other group members, and see four or five coming toward me. They walk casually, talking in pairs, but moving together as if their destination is decided. I sense that they have reached important and distressing decisions without my knowledge. They respond to my questions with transparent evasions and contradictions; then they continue on without me...