Before the church's version of "March Madness" begins with Ash Wednesday in a few days, H and I decided to take a bit of time away with a very unscheduled low-key few days off. These last few weeks after Epiphany have been particularly (though unusually) hectic in the parish for reasons only tangentially related to the liturgical calendar. So, this morning we packed our bags and started our drive to Bok Tower Gardens (with a quick stop at IKEA).
Bok Gardens is particularly beautiful this time of year -- so much is blooming. Since it is a weekday, there were very few people. Gardens were manicured and carefully planted; others were natural and rambling. Leaves and blooms were heavy with water as it had rained this morning. We wandered the paths and found ourselves sitting on the bench overlooking the pool directly in front of the tower (on the side opposite that shown in this photo). Two trumpeter swans lingered in front of us.
We sat in the quiet. There was something for nearly each of our senses -- eyes lingered on the natural beauty, listened to the birds and the frogs and the squirrels, the carillon's chimes kept the hour and played a brief recital, the fragrance of the tea olive and the orange blossom. Easy wandering around the base of the tower.
At one of the natural ponds on the 50-acre site, a small building with rustic benches and a large clear window sat on the shore so that we could simply sit in quiet watching carefully for what we might see next. While it might have been possible to see alligator, wood duck, and any number of other wildlife, none of them made an appearance. Rather, I was mesmerized by the critters just below the surface of the water. They would come up to feed creating random ripples intersecting with each other and thereby creating other patterns on the water. Looking more closely, some of these were small minnows and others were maturing tadpoles.
Wandering paths, easy pace, gentle distractions, and, most importantly, no wristwatch.
A light munchable supper here -- Plant City strawberries, Publix sushi, nice sausage and cheese, glass of wine, sesame water crackers.
I am grateful for much.