Monthly Archives: August 2016

wednesday morning in the garden

Garden 6

I see that my last post was a garden one. When I noticed that, I felt sort of bad that I’ve been too busy these past few days to post anything else. But I was also sort of glad to see that – I feel like the end of summer has been a bit of a blur, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve made it to the garden for a few mornings in a row. That’s actually a good feeling.

I love your comments, and read them all. I particularly love the ones on these garden posts because they feel like “bonus” comments – that sounds weird, but a part of me really feels like these posts are more interesting to me than anyone else. It’s a funny little ritual I have, but the act of walking and documenting, and then sorting and posting those images is relaxing to me. Even scrolling through my photo folders on my computer is fun – everything is so colorful, and always changing.

It’s probably not obvious to anyone but me, but I do try to think about the composition of the photos as I place them in the post. I try to spread out colors and plant shapes, close views and long ones. But I did it differently this time – in this post the photos are all in order. We were there for about fifty minutes this morning, and it was F’s turn to choose the path. See if you can spot her in many of the photos – sometimes she’s really tiny!

Garden 7

Garden 8

Garden 1

Garden 2 Garden 3

Garden 9

Garden 10

Garden 11

Garden 12

Garden 14

Garden 16

Garden 15

Garden 13

Garden 19

Garden 5

Garden 18

Garden 17

Garden 4

I’m ending this post on a funny note – the flower above was labeled as a “balloon flower”, but F picked up this very flower at the market last fall, and they were labeled “Monkey Balls” there. She asks me every Saturday if the monkey balls are back at the market, but we haven’t spotted them there yet. But whee! Today we did, in the garden. It must be their time. We’ll have to pick up some for ourselves soon.

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.