yesterday i had what i think was the best day of my whole summer.
growing up, lots of my friends would all get together at the end of summer and ask "what was the best day of summer??" i never had an answer for them. i mean, summer is long and i do so much. how can you expect me to pick just one day to be the favorite?? well, i think this was the first year it was easy. august 14th, 2020. i spent almost the whole day with my dear friend brooke. we met in the morning at the missouri botanical gardens, which is hands down one of the most beautiful places in st. louis. we walked and talked for hours. talking with brooke is so easy, we have close to everything in common. we are both poets and artistic. we both love to take photos and don't hate having them taken of us every now and then. we love nature and it's simplistic beauty. we are easy-going, and laid back. easy to please. oh yeah, and we both love kaldi's coffee, which she so kindly stopped to get for both of us before we met at the gardens.
the whole time we were at the garden i was perplexed by the fact that i was in such awe of the beauty of the kinds of things i see everyday.
i mean, we literally paid to get into a place where you walk around and look at plants that could grow in your neighbor's yard. but man, when you take the time to come to a place that is your neighbor's yard without the neighbors and their house, plants without the pot, ponds without the fishing docks. when you come to place where man's hand has been removed from what God crafted and called "good" without any of our help, that's the place to be. this is the closest i've ever been to eden, and maybe the closest i'll ever be.
i'm writing this while siting in my front yard, and even here, in the shade of a tree listening to it's leaves' music, the birds singing along, i am surrounded by man. the flowers i look up to see are fake or dying. the smell of vehicles is in the air, and the sound of them thundering from the nearby highway. is it worth it to pay money to get away to things i "see everyday?" yes, yes it is, because i don't! i can say i see trees but i only see the ones that made it into the landscaping plans. i only see the flowers that match the colors of the neighbor's shutters, and i couldn't smell them if they were in my hands. every blade of grass is cut in line with the rest. why do so many of us crave nature when we could say we we're living in the middle of it..?
brooke and i took sooooo many pictures of nature in its most authentic form. untouched, but well kept. is this what dominion means? because i like the gardens' and their keepers' ideas of dominion much better than the home owners society's. life was allowed to live in this place. rose bushes were allowed to grow and thrive without being cut down for fear of a window being obscured. this was a place we went to acknowledge and appreciate our grand smallness.
like the image on the right. this is blue bamboo, so thick we couldn't get our hands around it. this is what i love. i love stepping outside into nature and remembering just how small i really am. you might not find this as encouraging as i do hahaha but it truly is! in the grand scheme of things, we are nothing, and that is beautiful.
i am nothing, we are nothing. and yet God considers us greater than every living organism on this earth and beyond. what a paradox! but i digress (which is nothing new to the way i speak or write or think so i'm sure y'all are used to it by now hahaha!). we stopped for a while in the japanese garden to savor our coffee and company, both of which were delightful. we also took some more pictures, of course. and we talked. we talked about life, we talked about nature, we talked about relationships, dream jobs and school. and also losing only one sock.
again, all during this time i was so happily at peace with the nothing that was going on around me. our phones were turned off, we got no calls or texts. there was no one that needed or required anything of us. no crabby lady who hadn't had her morning coffee telling us we were at her table, we just sat. you guys may be thinking "wow miracle, that's nice i'm sure, but why do you keep telling us about the nothing you did yesterday?" but see, that's exactly my point. this was my favorite day of the summer, and we barely did anything!
my life has been a little crazy the past year-and-a-half, and i've found more often than not that if i'm given the choice of doing something or doing nothing, i'll pick nothing! i mean, i got to the point to where hanging out with friends felt like running from appointment to appointment. yesterday with brooke was the best because we didn't have to do anything. all we did was walk, talk, and eat. literally the easiest things to do in the history of ever. yesterday felt so natural, and not just because we were in nature. after we finished in the garden we got lunch at sweet art, a vegan restaurant in the city. everyone, i tried my first vegan burger and i didn't hate it! though i could never be vegan because, as some of you may know, i am passionate about burgers. but it wasn't bad, so i had a good meal and felt good about myself, partly because i didn't eat any real meat, and partly because i just went on a three hour walk. (it was mostly the second part.)
my friends, i write what you may call a boring blog to tell you this: it's the little things. and yeah yeah you hear that all the time, but that's because it's true. life isn't always about having the most friends and throwing the best parties and have the best day ever every day, it's about sitting in the park with one good friend. yes, i used a period instead of a comma because that wasn't a list, i was finished. life begs for simplicity, it's us who tell each other and ourselves that it's about the biggest and the bestest. (yes, i know that's not a word but i'm a writer so anything i write becomes a word. boom.)
so today, tomorrow, maybe even the day after that if you remember anything you read from this, if you have the choice to do everything or to do nothing,