Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Garden in Morning

Full disclosure: this surpise
is totally fake.
My morning trip through the tri-state area dropping kids wherever they land has always had one "must." Brynna must be at school by 7:20. Or Maren must be at the babysitter's by 8:30 or no breakfast for her. Then, it's just a matter of working out whether to drop the other child before or after and working backwards.

But this year, for the first time, I have two "musts." Brynna must be at school by 7:20 and Maren must be at school between 7:50 and 8:10. The schools are about ten minutes apart. Which means that on any given morning, Maren and I are going to have twenty extra minutes.

Which is not really enough time to do anything or go anywhere, but way too much time to just wait in the car.

Enter the garden.

On the Rock Path
The Garden, as Maren has taken to calling it, is a small garden/park/ish place just a few feet from her school. And it is truly a beautiful place. I've taken the kids there to walk around before, but as far as parks go, it's a little tricky with kids. It's trails are really too short for any sort of "excursion," and the lack of open space and/or play equipment means that it's just not all that great for a trip with kids. They get bored and then they get whiny and then I get yelly and it's just not pretty.

But Maren and I have been going in the morning. The park is officially open from dawn to dusk and we slip in the big gates and wander around following paths and talking.

We've named the paths (although they really all loop together making one big circuitous route). The Rock Path is Maren's favorite. It's a series of stepping stones that lead first to a kiln house and then to nothing. But to get to the nothing, you have to push past tree branches and duck one particularly large pine bough. Nothing is really more exciting when you feel like it's a secret nothing.

The bridge with no sides.
My favorite is the Waterfall Path which walks past two double waterfalls. The only downside to the Waterfall Path is that you have to cross the bridge without sides. I can just see myself at 7:35 a.m. diving into a koi pond after a three year old. That would be stellar.

There is also the Creek Path that leads down to the big creek that winds all the way through town. We haven't taken that one yet, because I insist that we can only go when neither of us are wearing crocs. That doesn't happen often. And the Red Bridge Path takes you around the pond.

That tiny blue thing in the middle
is totally a crane. But you're
just going to have to take
my word for it.
Every morning, I think I'm too tired. I don't want to do it today, but then I remember that soon it will be dark at 7:35 and we won't be able to go through The Garden in the mornings, and Maren asks "pleasey pa-cheesey," and I relent. And every morning I am so glad that I did.

The magic of the place, for me at least, lies mostly in its desertion. I like us being the only people there, exploring like we're the only ones on Earth, talking about anything, trying to spot the crane. (Yep, there's a crane and he is illusive.) I like that time we have together when everyone is in a good mood and the day is still mostly possibilities swirling in the pre-sizzle fog.

It's a little bit of perfect peace before the day begins in earnest. And after listening to the girls scream at each other in the backseat, I need that. It almost makes me understand mornings, but you know, bed is pretty peaceful too.

1 comment:

Cathy G. said...

I can see right now that you need to pack an extra outfit in the car. It's just a matter of time before Maren meets the pond!