Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Conversations From the Garden
The botanical garden was packed on Sunday, as everyone wanted to enjoy the beautiful day in an equally beautiful setting. For a while on the path we were closely followed by an oriental family, dad with a huge camera, mom pushing a baby in a stroller, and a little girl around 3 years of age walking along with them. "Hold me, daddy", came the plaintive cry. Dad keeps shooting pictures. "Hold me, daddy!", a little more emphatic. Still shooting... "Hold me, mommy?", gazing hopefully at her mother. Mom shakes her head. So the rest of the way down the path we were serenaded with "hold mees" until they took the alternative path to the Japanese Garden. Thank you, God. Why didn't they have an additional stroller for the little gal? There is a lot of walking in the garden.
But on our path we met up with Lorenzo. Lorenzo was probably about 5 or 6, and his family of four also included parents and a sister. No stroller in this family, though Lorenzo should have been on a leash. The Japanese Garden has immaculately maintained crushed gravel in the planting beds, raked into patterns representing waves on the ocean. At any rate, the signs warning guests to keep on the path are numerous. In the past I have wondered about footprints appearing in the gravel. Now I know - Lorenzo has been there. New Age mom and dad were not going to reprimand him, lest they hurt his delicate feelings. Thus he made numerous forages over the arched fencing before being distracted by the zig-zag walkway which extends over the lakes edge. There the family proceeded to block all traffic as they shot the equivalent of two rolls of film. As the woman behind us commented, " What Lorenzo needs is a swift pat on the butt." Amen, sister.
We decided to forgo our normal walk on the zig-zag bridge, and hopefully leave the Lorenzo troop behind. On the other side of the lake we met up again with "hold me" girl. She was surprisingly quiet, no doubt enthralled with the super-sized fish in the lake, but her brother was in full mode screaming phase. Ah, yes, what a fun family outing at the garden. I love being an empty-nester!
Our last stop before leaving the garden was checking out the hundreds of tulips next to the rose garden. As we walked through the roses, dormant now in the early spring, I picked up on a conversation behind me. Her: "Did you see that wheelchair? I'd like to get one like that for mom." Him: "What?" Her: "I would like all of us to chip in so we can get mom a chair like that so she'd be more comfortable." Him: "And what if she dies right away?" Wow, that was pretty thoughtless. Her: "Then we can just store it for the next person who needs it." Him: "Well, I won't go for that. I ain't chipping in on it." Yes, a fun family outing at the garden.
If you go to the garden and see the footprints in the sand? God didn't make them - Lorenzo did.