Saturday, January 26, 2008

where we go to the morikami gardens, i am floored by a poetry panel, and i meet sharon olds

This afternoon was a poetry panel and the final reading, but I will save those for tomorrow. I just want to give you this--little snippets of our trip to the Morikami Gardens in Boca Raton. I was between events, the heat of the afternoon bearing down on us, and we zipped through this place of wonder and quiet joy all too quickly. Armed with a camera, my black notebook at my side, I swallowed as much as I could--the turtles sunning themselves, the shushing and thocking sounds of bamboo in the breeze, the bright flowers, the lush green, the birds with long graceful necks and gorgeous reflections in the water. We may have spotted a murmur of an alligator beneath the water's surface; I was able to catch a photo of an otter too.

I think: why don't I go places like this when I am back in Minnesota? We are not without nature's bounty, not without the shock and gasp of wildlife's presentation. Do we take our own landscapes for granted? Do we enjoy them as much, but perhaps aren't as surprised? Is it easier to write a poem about Alaska or Florida than it is to write about my own surroundings?

We are only an hour away from the Twin Cities, a place which was home to me for so long, and not far from other wonders--Duluth, home to Husband for a while, and the Boundary Waters, a place I've been longing to visit, but am not sure my outdoorsmanship is quite up to par with the canoe-only wilderness. I must vow to become more of a part of this landscape though--not just a supporter of local businesses and art, but a person who can take in and be a quiet observer of everything around me--the bluffs, the winter, the gentle gestures of landscape.

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