In the Garden

Shelter

I was in Birmingham for a while this past weekend visiting friends, and I made a stop at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Besides my friends and Milo burgers, this place is what I miss most about Birmingham. Atlanta has a beautiful garden, but it’s smaller, more “manicured,” and it costs a good bit to visit it. Birmingham’s garden, on the other hand, is more expansive, more natural, and costs nothing to enjoy… maintained by donations and volunteers.

I was there early, which in itself is unusual, so there were only a few people already out, the dew was still on the roses, and the weather was cool even if a bit humid. The rose garden was gorgeous and the fragrance as I approached it was unmistakable. I tried to make sure I smelled each section of the different varieties. It never ceases to amaze me how a “rose” can smell so different from type to type.

In this photo, the rose garden is to the left, and the area where several couples marry is to the right, out of sight. This portico was shady and quiet, and the earthy aroma of the roses, the grass, and the overhead vines was so pleasant that I stayed there for several minutes. Composing this photo then got me to thinking about perspective, vanishing points, architecture and such, and I got lost in the revelry of the mathematics of it all. I guess I’m a bit of a nerd that way. :)

Anyway, the thing I enjoyed most was that moment of peace, and I was grateful to be back in the gardens that I love so much.

I feel badly that I don’t have something profound to post about the storms that have rocked Alabama and the rest of the South, but it all seems beyond words. Everyone grieves in their own way, and this natural disaster, more than the Japanese one, hits literally too close to home to be able to give voice to the sadness I feel for those affected. I am grateful that it didn’t happen to me or my close family and friends, but then I feel guilty for feeling grateful. It could have just as easily been me and mine. The randomness of something so life altering is frightening, and I guess that’s one lesson to remind myself of again… that life can turn on a dime.

Live well, let those you love know it, and be sure to smell the roses along the way.

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