A Garden Stroll

Longwood Gardens

Monday Morning Musings:

“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons — the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night.” –Walt Whitman, quoted in Brainpickings

We used to go away, now we don’t go, we stay
where we are, in stasis, mourn
what was, embrace what is, forlorn–

but then comes a day, when we go
not to stay, but to glory in the glow
of autumn, amber light, and honeyed hues

well, wouldn’t you? If given a chance,
bears from hibernation spring, if only temporarily–
because I fear what winter will bring.

So, we drive over the bridge, as in days before,
then masked, and with some hesitation,
and trepidation, that gives way to elation—

Commodore Barry Bridge

because we’re seeing something new, a perfect day
to stroll through seasonal gardens where flowers still bloom
and bees buzz and butterflies flutter, birds chirp, squirrels stutter

in indignation, as we walk through Peirce’s Woods
and in the meadow golden-bright to the manmade lake
where we reflect in reflected light

Longwood Gardens

on all the beauty we’re fortunate to see
a special outing, a few hours to forget
hate and plague, and all the vague anxiety

that hovers in the air, for once unaware, we laugh
relax, eat, find a retreat–a poetic conceit
perhaps, but for a time, we’re OK, and all is fine.

We went to Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, PA–about an hour away from our house in south Jersey. (You have to buy tickets in advance for a particular day and time.) We haven’t really gone anywhere, except for a few local wineries, where we can sit outdoors and far apart from others. Before we went, we got our flu shots at our local CVS, and that was the first time I had been inside the store since March. I felt a bit of panic. And at Longwood Gardens, it was strange to be among so many people—though mostly at a safe distance and masked. It was so good to see something different, and we picked a perfect autumn day. Of course, the mood was spoiled a bit because of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings. I turned off NPR for awhile.

I’m linking this to Robin of “Breezes at Dawn”’s Walktober.
For those who don’t follow my blog, my usual, almost daily walk, is at Red Bank Battlefield, usually early in the morning. Below see some of the beauty that I experience there. Before the Covid Crisis hit, we went into Philadelphia almost every week, often taking public transportation. I think we last did that in February.

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, Misty Morning Sunrise ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

And a PS–Merril’s Movie Club: We watched The Trial of the Chicago 7. It’s on Netflix, and it’s enjoyable and timely. Fans of The West Wing, Sorkin even manages to get in a few walk and talks. 😏

51 thoughts on “A Garden Stroll

  1. It’s the best way to raise your spirits and it looks as though you had a beautiful day.
    I didn’t realise that she had been sworn in already. Another reason for gloom.
    On the radio at lunchtime, several people read out lists of all the different populations that have been targetted by Islamic killers: mayors, priests, journalists, cartoonists, essayists, people out enjoying themselves, police officers, soldiers, and ending with school teachers. Husband said, funny there are no politicians on the list.

    • Thank you. It was perfect day to go–sunny, but not too hot, and still warm enough to sit outside to eat lunch. I had forgotten how much variety they have here. We didn’t go in the conservatories, but there is new seasonal garden section that we liked, and the woods, the meadow, etc.
      No, she hasn’t been sworn in yet. They still have to do the formal vote. The Senate hearings were going on last week. The Democrats tried to get her to answer questions, which she wouldn’t do, and the Republicans gushed about how wonderful she is. 🤮. That is sad that there are such lists to be read.

  2. What a special treat you’ve provided, Merril. It looks like you enjoyed a glorious day. I love the musings and your photos are gorgeous! Your husband cracks me up. There’s something about him that reminds me of Mick Jagger! Thanks for taking us along on your outing. I enjoyed it!

  3. “and trepidation, that gives way to elation” – we could all use some of that elation.

    Shopping for groceries is the extent of my contact with locals (except for a couple of doctor appointments). The chain stores are requiring masks (one of those is strongly suggesting and getting a positive response), but one family-owned store does not. The staff and majority of customers take advantage of that fact — it’s not called “The Show Me State” for nothin’.

    • I think all public places around here require masks, but individuals do not always obey.
      I also had a dentist and a doctor appointment. Although I was anxious, the dentist had all sorts of safety protocols in place–including air filtration systems in the rooms. At the doctor’s office, everyone wore masks, but they allowed more people than seemed right in the waiting room.

  4. I like your walk-about, seeing life through your lens. Doug is such a ham, and your mask is far more glamorous than mine!)

    Thanks for the reminder about a flu shot, on my to-do list this week. (I see the irony in feeling unsafe receiving a vaccine that may prevent disease, not Covid-19, but one that sometimes can be severe.) ((( )))

    • Thank you very much, Marian. I appreciate your comments. When he sees me taking a photo, he sometimes reacts that way. 🤣

      I never had a flu shot before, but thought it necessary this year–and yes, irony. Though it was easy and free.

  5. What a glorious day, and such colors! Thanks for sharing them. A change of scenery would be welcome for me too.

    I went for the first time into the local pharmacy to get a flu shot also. It wasn’t so bad. And I’m finally going to the doctor for an overdue appointment this week.

    I’m used to crowded streets, though the few here that refuse to wear masks still bother me. But they can usually be avoided. Everyone at least wears masks in the elevator of my new building. In the old one I would often have to wait quite a while because of all those (mostly young men) who didn’t bother. I still haven’t gone anywhere I couldn’t walk though. I wonder when public transportation will feel safe.(k)

  6. It was a real pleasure to see the pictures from your outing with your husband. The two of you look like you were having such a good time with each other. I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks that October seems to be giving people in the blogging community a real lift in their spirits. Your “Misty Morning Sunrise” takes the prize in the photo department.

  7. Thanks for taking us/me along with you on your wild adventure – risking all and receiving a day of respite from all the ‘risk’…(play on words, but not sure it works)
    May it restore your reservoir of good vibes to draw upon in the coming weeks.

    • Thank you very much, Laura. I think it filled the reservoir, but only temporarily. 😔 It was a nice outing though on a beautiful day though–and I don’t know how many more of those we’ll have.

  8. What a beautiful day you two had. So glad you were able to go out there, to somewhere new and enjoy yourselves. Smart of you to link it to Walktober, as well!

  9. I have been looking forward to coming here to see your post, Merril. I love Longwood Gardens and am so glad I get to travel there (even if it is vicariously) through your walk. What a beautiful day you had!! Even though I have been out and about (shopping, the trip to and from Ohio), I understand your panic. It happens to me, too. Your images are wonderful and I’m happy you had a chance to go to Longwood. Your morning walks are beautiful and I enjoy seeing your images on IG and here on your blog. 🙂

  10. Longwood Gardens are a lovely escape and lucky you to live only an hour away, Merrill. I haven’t been there in over 35 years, I imagine it has changed a lot! Do you go to their beautiful Christmas displays?

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