We are home and . . . .
We left on Friday, early in the day. There was the threat of rain but there was also Longwood Gardens, one of my favorite places in the entire world, a bit more than an hour north. On the way home. Almost. It never rained but it was cloudy and clammy. Julia complained, but I was not to be dissuaded from indulging in the garden. We did some walking, less than I would have liked, more than Julia wanted. Compromise! Beds of color do not impress her, but the water fountain with musical accompaniment was pretty thrilling. Best of all was when I found the plant that is her favorite. I almost didn’t find it. It was in the very last exhibit, behind the green house, in a corner of the water lily ponds. Mimosa pudica, also called the sensitive plant. The tiny ground hugging plant with leaves that fold at the slightest touch is of never ending fascination to Julia. And she was thrilled we found it.
Pictures from the Garden!
We jumped back into the car and drove a few hours north, making it to Stroudsburg, PA, where we spent the night. In the morning we ate breakfast in the center of town, watching the farmers’ market open for the day. We hiked to a waterfall, Julia waded in the muddy pool at the bottom of the falls, and then we made the trip home.
Arrived home Saturday evening. I basically collapsed, grateful it was cool and didn’t need to worry about cooling off the house. Laid low on Sunday, did a little weeding in a well watered garden (with thanks to my upstairs neighbor) and allowed Monday to come and be what it would be.
Monday. Death Day. I have usually thought of this anniversary as the day my favorite part of life ended. This year, however, there is a shift. It is still the tragic end of my liturgical year, but it also is a beginning. And the beginningness of this year has some sparkle to it. Perhaps it is two weeks with 20 somethings in person after 15 months of sequestering with zoom, perhaps it is graduation and transition and a summer of plans for Julia, perhaps it is coffee and tea with acquaintances who have friend possibilities, perhaps it is the promise of visitors and visiting, perhaps it is just that so much time has passed and no one can carry heavy sadness forever. Truth be told, I have not been sad. Perhaps covid anxiety and fear have played such a huge part during this time that sadness has been edged out, been swept to one side, allowing for a full flowering of stress. And now that the stress and anxiety is dissipating sadness does not rush to fill the vacuum, but relief, well-being, something about arriving in a place just right and, dare I say, a little joy.
I am ready to assert that I want more of a social life, plays and concerts and visits to New York. I want time and travel to write and write and write. I want to get tipsy after two glasses of wine and talk deep into a night. I want to get lost in a few good books. And then a few more. I want connection. And if that is not enough, I want a date or two that could evolve into an adventure. At the beginning of my liturgical year, I want an Annunciation and some Christmas.