W & W 15: Garden of Eden

Sometimes a disappointment can morph into an enjoyment. Take today, for instance. My hubby and I were going to take an airboat ride on Choctawhatchee Bay, but due to windy weather and a front moving in, it was cancelled. As luck would have it, right next door was a lovely Florida State Park – Eden Gardens.

First, we took a walk through the Living Shoreline Trail to view the magnificent gardens and tree species on the grounds of the Wesley mansion. Venturing here I imagined that I was Scarlett O’Hara and half expected Rhett Butler to smile his mustached grin at me from behind a live oak tree. Perhaps if I’m coy enough he’ll woo me and we’ll be married under this famous Wedding Tree which is now over 600 years old! A girl can dream, can’t she?

The Wedding Tree – 600 years old
The Wesley House

Being a native Michigander, I am amazed at the variety of plants and flowers that flourish in Florida. So different from the white pines, red oak, and beech trees of my state. It is April, yet in Northern Michigan there are no deciduous leaves peeking out from their hard bud shells. There are no spring beauties yet. No hepatica in sight. No violets. Here in Northern Florida verdant is the word of the day. All is green, peppered with the love colors of rose, hushed pink, and crimson. Why is it that flowers bloom not only in summer’s warmth, but also in awakened souls?

Amaryllis in bloom at Eden Gardens State Park

After the garden walk with my hubby, I ventured off on a one-mile alone Walk & Write as he waited nearby on a bench. He understands my need for nature alone time. He also has multiple sclerosis and cannot walk on uneven ground without tripping. Love that good man!

As I hiked through palmettos, longleaf pines, and magnolia trees, I listened to the sounds of a different kind of forest and bracken bays. My senses were sharpened as I imagined all kinds of creatures scampering around me. After all, I had already seen two black snakes on this vacation and I’m sure there were copperheads lurking somewhere. And then there’s this:

While I didn’t see a gator, believe me I walked gingerly down this sandy slope thinking that vicious-looking tree log lurking in the bay might jump up and snap me in two! I did hear lots of scampering though and happened upon this guy who looked like a cousin to some of the birdfeeder robbers in my neck-of-the-woods.

Not a snake!

What did I take away from this Walk & Write adventure? What did I kindle in my heart and what transcended my soul to become one with the universe? First, whomever named flowers had a poetic heart. Just listen: camellia, rose, amaryllis, violet, hepatica, bottle brush. Bottle brush? Not so pretty, probably coined by an tired young mother after bottle feeding an infant at 2 am.

Bottle Brush

I leave you with this;

Be soft and gentle like a Camellia petal.
Vibrant red. Lips like a lover.
Caressing invisible clouds.

Be sharp tongued and brave like a Bottle Brush.
Licking life from nothingness.
Tickling the air. Scrubbing it clean.
Acupuncture for the gods.

Be both.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I love your photos. What a beautiful place to visit.


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