Saturday, September 11, 2010

Earthly Delights



It was so hot last summer (in my mind, summer is done) that I didn't enjoy being outdoors. Indeed I tucked myself into the cool calm beauty of the chateau. I barely saw the light of day throughout August, a turgid month of unrelenting heat and toxic air. I like to tilt against the weather, but by August, I gave up. It just wasn't fun.

What I missed, though, by staying indoors so much, was the healing and rejuvinating experience of spending time in the company of the green world of gardens. East Capitol Street, where I live, is a public avenue on which people take great pride in their front gardens. It's manicured, yes, but still so gorgeous.

Also manicured, though it seems wilder, is the National Botanical Garden on the Capitol grounds. Oh man I love that garden.



During winter, I like to go inside the glass house, breathe soft air and look at exotic green things. When the weather is nice, I love love LOVE strolling through the outdoor space. I marvel at the stuff that can grow out of a pool of mud and yucky looking water, the things that grow out of what looks like sterilized sand, all the beautiful things that grow in dirt.

The other garden I really love is just across the street, surrounding the Museum of the American Indian. On the south side of the building, they grow food! Squash, corn and beans grow together, as they always have. I love that! There's always a stand of tobacco, about the only intoxicant in existence that I never got addicted to. Thanks Brother Tobac!! There are sunflowers and indigenous grasses, a pond with lotus and all the plants that make up a woodland forest.

The weather has been great this week; I've been outside a lot. It has been so GREAT to place my feet, one in front of the other, on the grounds of these beautiful gardens. It's like coming home again. Ahhh ....

I love dirt and its progeny. I really do. L'chaim, y'all!

15 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

I considered writing about 9/11 today, but this post seems more healing.

Barbara said...

What is just a little creepy is that today is a carbon copy of the beautiful day that never imagined such a tragedy could take place. It's cool and crisp with a bright blue sky. Let's hope that's all we have to say about today, this 9/11.

California Girl said...

Enjoying the photos of spots on D.C. I've not seen. It is healing today.

Everton Terrace said...

Each time I read on your blog about another interesting looking place in DC, I think I'm going to need a month to see all of this if I ever get to visit. I love Botanical Gardens.

Reya Mellicker said...

Everton come visit! Except for during the summer (ask Tom of Half-Moose with a Twist) DC is beautiful. Spring is out of this world, fall, too. Mild winters (usually). It's just summer that sucks. Please come visit!!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Beautiful walk. Do you ever visit the farmer's market (which I think) is near the capitol building? CBS Sunday Morning did a show about Farmer's Markets and it was one featured. Get out there & buy fresh vegetables!

Karen said...

That's one of my favorite things about the mall, that view of green and garden and flower and food, and right there in view of the Capitol. Kind of a nice reminder of what's real, what's really important...

The weather has turned here, too, and man is it nice at night to have the cool air, just enough to need socks some nights, coming in the slightly open window.

(Is it me or is there more "out there" this year about remembering 9/11? I am sensing more people grieving, or something--been on the verge of tears for no apparent reason almost constantly this week...)

ellen abbott said...

I wish I had had more time in the botanical garden the day we were there but we were trying to do so much in one day.

I'm itching to get out and work in my gardens but it is still so hot and humid here. Early evening yesterday I was out picking up 2 gallons of bad pecans, slowly walking the yard and I was dripping sweat when I came in. Not a vigorous activity, picking up pecans.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen may fall come to you asap! Yikes.

Karen yes I've felt more stuff around 9/11 this year, personally and in the group mind. I know I've been compelled to process as I never have before. Also I think the uproar over the Islamic Center in NYC, and that crazy guy in Florida who was going to burn Korans stirred up some stuff at the very foundation of what has not healed.

We never get it, do we?

Amen, Salaam, and Shalom. Peace.

Tom said...

one of the most impressive gardens i saw while visiting was at Bartholdy(?) Park, across the street from the botanical where they are rebuilding the memorial. i was sad the monument was under construction because the surrounding garden was amazing. the heat didnt stop me from walking thru the plants, trees and flowers. beautiful stuff!

Reya Mellicker said...

YES come back sometime (NOT DURING SUMMER) after they've reinstalled the fountain and we'll go there. The Botanical Garden is similar to the Bartholdi - and right across the street. Oh yeah!!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

bye bye summer, don't let the door hit you in the you know where!!

i too had my fill of heat and humidity. may the cooler temps that have arrived stay.....

great pics (as usual) ah been too long since i made a pilgrimage to the botanical garden ....hopefully next visit it is a magical place in every season!

Pam said...

There is certainly a place for manicured, and you have reminded me to visit the many carefully tended places around my own city today. My daughter, on the other hand, is off in the wild and untamed regions of South Australia, adventuring at the moment. We all need our outdoor healing walks to rejuvinate and reflect.

Angela said...

Come sit with me im our not so manicured garden, Reya. Our weather is about 20°C, very pleasant and sunny, and you may pick a red or yellow tomato, to eat just on the spot. The crows come visiting, those with two colors, and maybe the ducks have already landed in the pond. The bumlebees are still about and feast on our cosmea and calendula, and we can feast on our own apples. How does that sound?

Reya Mellicker said...

Angela, it sounds like heaven!!

Pam - happy spring! Your daughter sound like a great adventurous soul.