Opening day at Chanticleer garden

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's been many years now since I first stumbled onto Chanticleer, a pleasure garden ten minutes from my home.  In the epics and eras since, Chanticleer has served as a retreat of sorts, become a place of friendship, and crept its way into two of my books (Ghosts in the Garden (a memoir) and Nothing but Ghosts (a YA novel)).  It has also become a birthday tradition.  The garden opens on April 1st of each year.  I go to bear witness and to reflect on my own life.

Profoundly exhausted, I wasn't sure that I'd make it this year.  I was glad I found a way.  The skies were gray but not storming when I arrived.  The daffodils and cherry trees had bloomed out early, as was this eager season's way.  Still, purple and blue electrified the landscape.  The neon koi were in their pond.  The pots were brimming.

"Now I'm going to show you my favorite part," a little girl told her mother as she ran by.  And then:  "Oh, look!  It's changed.  It's even better!"

Change. Yes. It just keeps coming. That's the way it is, the way it will be. But I am grateful for the familiar rolling hills of Chanticleer, the familiar faces.  I am grateful for the reflecting ponds that restore me, for the quiet that I find, because I'm searching.


bermudaonion said...

Lovely photos! I can't believe she's wearing a jacket - we've been roasting down here.

Melissa Sarno said...

Look at that girl and her smiley bag! These photos are all so peaceful and beautiful and necessary on this frantic Monday morning. Searching for quiet, oh yes. I have faith you will find it (or have already, in small moments?)

patti.mallett_pp said...

Thanks for posting this. I am in tears, Beth, as I see shadows of you and your wonderful son from the past. I hope to one day visit this place (and meet you), in person.

Serena said...

Wonderful refuge to visit on your birthday...and change is always coming. I love this.

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