This is not to say that I'm also laid-back and serene; I can be anxious and annoyingly perfectionistic about my various projects. But when it comes to getting things done quickly? Not so much. My speed has always leaned more toward Tortoise than Hare. (And when I say "always," I mean always. My family lived a short block from my elementary school and my mom sent me out the door every weekday morning with plenty of time to spare, but even so I ambled into class late nearly every day of third grade. My teacher finally asked me why I never arrived on time, and I replied in typically ethereal little-Soozcat fashion, "Oh, I was just looking around at the trees... and the flowers... and the birds..." This comment, overheard by classmates, swiftly earned me my first nickname: Mother Nature.)
In the modern world, slowness and deliberateness are hardly perceived as positive attributes; at best, they're tolerated. At worst, people scream at you to get out of their way. But I'm convinced that, even in a fast-paced world, slowness still has its advantages. It often comes with related abilities -- meditation, thinking and feeling deeply about one's experiences, observation of details that others miss -- that are difficult or impossible for the go-go-go types to cultivate. And there are times and places where such slow-paced attributes come in handy.
Which brings us to the subject of today's photo essay adventure:
Having successfully found the parking lot, I parked the Suburban Stealth Vehicle and meandered toward the entrance.
ETA (16 June 2018): Postcrossing member Ina kindly informs me that this plant is an Astrantia, also called masterwort. You can read more about the genus here.
Sounds about right.
By the way, I didn't take many pictures of other people, but there were a few folks in the Garden today. Some of them were taking a leisurely pace, but others were speedwalking along the path as if they had an appointment to get to in ten minutes. Watching them, I couldn't help but wonder how much they could really take in. Most of the Garden, even the stuff that appears to be wild growth, has been carefully planted and meticulously curated -- but can you really notice these subtle details when you're chugging along like a steamboat?
When I was a tween, I had this vivid dream about hiking with a school group through Calaveras Big Trees State Park in California. As was typical for me, I was meandering along in back, and everyone else had moved on and left me behind, but I didn't care -- it gave me more time to look around. And while I was enjoying the beauty of a sunlit clearing, I had the distinct feeling I was being watched. Suddenly a giant came out from behind the massive sequoias where he'd been hiding, reached down and gathered me up in one hand to take a closer look at me. It all happened too quickly for me to be afraid, and when I showed no sign of fear in his presence, his huge face broke into the sweetest smile and he began talking to me like an old friend. There was something absolutely lovely about the whole experience, even if it was only a dream, and it tends to come back to my memory whenever I'm in a forested area with tall trees. It's an odd but wonderful thing to feel tiny, yet not at all insignificant.
So of course, I crept inside.
The Ravine is a deep gash in the forest, an area that wasn't originally part of the Garden but was bought by the City of Bellevue and added on in the last decade or so, the better to connect it to the Wilburton Trail.
It is definitely a suspension bridge, too. If you have a fear of heights, this bridge may not be for you. I could feel it gently swaying and bouncing beneath me as I made my way over to the other side.
So I stomped away. Some forest denizens are more welcome than others.
I guess Mr. Gnome wasn't at home. Or he just wasn't in the mood to entertain visitors today.
I'm pretty sure that, even in the two-plus hours I spent here, I didn't see the whole Garden. But that just gives me a reason to come back again later.
And then I went to Home Despot, because reasons. The End.
Oh yes, and remember: it's not nice to fool Mother Nature. *thunder*