The Peaceful Golden Tunnel

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water…” from Psalm 1:3

A beautiful place of calm respite is just a few steps outside of my front door. This time of year, it’s not my garden. It’s the park just down the street. On this crisp autumn day, I decided to take a stroll around the park just before lunch.

I just love this weeping willow lined pathway. A row of towering trees strung all in a row alongside one of the park’s ponds, with a nice walking path dividing the pond-side trees from several willow friends reaching over the path from the other side.

The Peaceful Golden Tunnel of Weeping Willow Trees

Today, as my feet crunch through the leafy tunnel, I take in the aroma of fallen leaves and the shivering sound of the gold-kissed leaves as gentle breezes play with the dangling cascade of branches.

An unexpected blessing was finding my friend Rita just on the other side of this tunnel taking her own peaceful walk through the park. She changed directions to join me in my walk and together we talked trees, bushes, Mexican sunflowers, peonies, and all things garden-y. Her beautiful garden is on the other side of the park and is always worth a tiny detour to visit. I love her garden. Even though her garden is winding down for the growing season, I can see that it has good bones. She knows just where to plant her newest bush or tree so that it will reach its fullest measure of beauty and harmonize with neighboring trees and bushes. I learn so much from my friend. We really should visit more often.

Honestly, I’m befuddled as to why I don’t take walks in the park more often. It used to be an almost daily habit. Maybe I could make it just that once again. The first step out of the door is the hardest, but is always richly rewarded.

The Garden Center Stalker

Facebook kindly informed me that one of my favorite garden centers was having a sale on mums and asters.

The ad looked like this.

The garden center is on my way home from work (well, sort of), so I stopped in today. Wow, Fitchburg Farms has an amazing array of healthy, colorful mums, and gorgeous asters in shades of purple! As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m noticing that my flowerbeds are in dire need of some more color. Well, “dire need” might be a slight exaggeration, but they are looking a bit drab.

I drove slowly down the gravel drive into the garden center, admiring the nicely shaped trees along one side and could see that the front of the store was awash in autumn colors. I pulled into one of just a few paved parking spots, then donned a face mask and made my way over to the area where the carts and flatbed wagons were corralled. Three mums and three asters was the “buy limit” I had in mind, so I chose one of those flatbed wagons and set off in search of just the right colors to complement the mums Wayne bought me earlier in the week. There were just two customers shopping in the outdoor section of the garden center, so I picked an area other than where they were shopping so that I kept adequate social distancing in mind.

Since I was in my own spot, I could play with colors. I’d find two or three that I liked and then play with the combinations on my little flatbed. I couldn’t help but notice that there was this lady staring at me as I played. I wondered if she thought she perhaps knew me from somewhere, but couldn’t quite recall. Before I knew it, she was in the same garden aisle as me, so I moved to the next one over to give her (and me) some space to shop.

She followed me.

I couldn’t help but notice that she kept an eye on me the whole time I was there. Wherever I moved, she moved.

Strange. It wasn’t creepy. Just weird. It reminded me of those detective shows where a private eye detective is tailing a suspect and trying to stay incognito (and doing a bad job of it).

I moved to another aisle where I spied more amazing colors that I could play with. She tailed me again. This time the lady finally spoke up and said, “Please, don’t mind me. I am watching you as you’re arranging and rearranging the colors.”

I chuckled, “Oh! I was hoping I wasn’t getting in your way.” She grinned as she shared that she had been there for awhile before me and just couldn’t make up her mind. When she saw me breeze in and start playing with the color combinations she knew what she would do. My garden center stalker-friend shared, “I like the color palettes you are creating and decided, whatever you buy, I’m buying.”

Sure enough, weird turned into a compliment when I looked at her cart and she had duplicated every flower I had chosen.

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