saturday morning in the garden

Garden 19

I need to give my toe another week to heal before attempting my yoga class. That meant that my Saturday morning was really open, without a class start time to be focused on. I really miss that class, but I was determined to make the best of this different sort of Saturday. I went to the market just as it opened, and then headed over to the garden for about an hour.

Garden 27

Garden 25

Garden 24

Garden 23

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the time to walk on every single path in the place. It was a quiet morning, although you could tell it was going to be a busy one, and a warm one.

Garden 22

Garden 1

Garden 21

Garden 20

Garden 18

So much color everywhere. I took a hundred photos. I couldn’t stop.

Garden 17

Garden 16

Garden 15

Garden 28

Garden 14

I stuck to the shady side of the paths, and stopped to watch the fish for a bit. I think they thought I had food, but I didn’t. They seemed a little disappointed.

Garden 13

Garden 12

Garden 11

Garden 10

Garden 8

There were bees everywhere, and dragonflies on the water lilies, and the most graceful yellow butterfly flitting around these hot pink blooms. I tried to get a shot of it, but it was too fast for me.

Garden 7

Garden 6

Garden 4

Garden 5

I watched this bridal party posing for pictures from afar. They looked like they were having so much fun. The colors were amazing, everywhere.

Garden 3

Garden 2

Garden 9

sacred space

IMG_2327

On the drive home from work I was listening to All Things Considered on the radio. Eleanor Beardsley was reporting from a small microphone, panting slightly as she walked a half mile into one of the towns in Central Italy that has been devastated by the earthquake and aftershocks this week. She notes the silence of her surroundings, and then you hear a guard in the distance telling her to turn around and leave. There is no one there. The town is gone. Everyone has left but this guard, and the buried.

As I was listening, I started crying. Whole towns are gone. Whole families. Whole histories. I tend to take a long view when I think of life, of the tiny little blip we are in time. It’s almost like that motion sick feeling you can get when you zoom in and out quickly in Google Earth – I prefer to hover a bit where I don’t get too attached. I could picture this region in the long view, visualize the area affected in the center of the country. I lived in that country and studied its history. We walked on the current streets of cities like Assisi, and then walked the ancient streets of that city underground – the foundation of the current one. There are layers upon layers of civilization there, a civilization that is still just a blip in the long view of time. I remember seeing the damage done to that city by an earthquake just after I left; I can’t imagine how much damage this current earthquake has done to similar towns.

I had the privilege to live and walk on so many of those streets, the gift of time to get outside of the famous cities and sit still in the smallest of places. So many of the best hours of my entire life have been spent on ancient stone steps, sketchbook and pen in hand, watching the people move about their day, greeting one another in the street, carrying food home for dinner, sitting at outdoor tables with a glass of wine and the paper, lighting candles just inside the open doors of churches. I stayed in little hotels, small flats, and even tinier rooms as I worked my way across the entire region.

There is devastation all around us; it’s nothing new. But this feels like sacred space to me. I left a piece of my heart in that country, and it’s broken this week.

project addition: this is huge

This is huge. (Just please don’t say that in a Trump-voice.)

Just wanted to celebrate what might seem like a really minor, unglamorous milestone to most, but is huge for our project. We have all signed, sealed, sworn, notarized documents / maintenance agreements / general buy-in on the project. As I’ve mentioned before, this can make or break a project when building on just a tiny, narrow lot. Sure, there are ways to get around stubborn, non-committal neighbors, but those methods are long, drawn out, expensive, and not always effective. So this is big. It took a bit longer than we thought, but we put together a reasonable package, took the time to answer questions, tried to make the notarization process less onerous – and in the end, both neighbors took the time to get their own documents in order for us and delivered them to us. That’s a really, really good feeling.

The structural engineer is hard at work, we’ve had a tree guy out to look at the neighbors’ trees near the property lines, our house is slowly filling up with samples (like fifty shades of black brick), and we’ve got more kitchen appliance appointments set up for the weekend. I’m cranking on sections and interior elevations, we’ve got zoning signoffs in the near future, and we should have some early $$ numbers coming in soon. Then we’ll tighten up the bid set and start making final decisions on the big items, and then the little ones.

Progress, progress… huge progress!