treasure discovered during this week’s adventures in the parks.
“you can either be a victim of the world
or an adventurer in search of treasure.
it all depends on how you view your life.”
― paulo coelho
one of my favorite places to hike can be found right in the center of ann arbor, a place where i always return, the nichols arboretum. it’s a lovely, quiet, sweeping park where there is natural beauty to be found in any season. one of the most stunning displays is the blooming of the peony garden. unlike any i have ever seen.
the nichols arboretum peony garden is the largest public collection of historic (pre-1950) herbaceous peony cultivars in north america. the university and botanical gardens are currently in the process of rebuilding this historic garden to be an internationally significant, scientifically-documented and culturally interpreted living reference collection.
the garden, open since 1927, boasts more than 270 historic varieties of peony, cultivated in the 19th and early 20th centuries. nearly 800 plants are arranged in 27 beds at the arboretum’s peony garden, drawing flower lovers from across the region when they bloom each spring.
“flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”
i recently made a wonderful discovery
when playing with a couple of my grandies
at the park across the street from my house.
the people in my local community
who visit the park or live nearby
leave toys behind
for any and all children to play with.
what a simple, powerful, and generous act
what an amazing way to teach children gratitude
of sharing what we have
with others in the world
who may not have as much.
“the essence of community, its heart and soul,
is the non-monetary exchange of value;
things we do and share because we care for others,
and for the good of the place.”
― dee hock, One from Many
we put the food together quickly
packed a picnic
headed out to the arboretum
right in the heart of the city
on a perfect late summer night
to see live opera
university music students
found a parking space
hauled out our gear
hiked in a mile
found the amphitheater
saw an open space for a great place to sit
our luck just kept getting better!
didn’t hear any music
wondered if we were too early
didn’t see any signs of a musical set-up
didn’t see any people around
walked on a bit
to see if perhaps
the music was
in another location in the park
i even said,
(a bit indignantly and dismayed),
“the paper said it was on the 23rd at 5:00!”
mg turned his head
looked at me
it was then that i knew
something was wrong
he calmly mentioned
that it was actually
still the 22nd at the moment
we were a bit early
24 hours early
but at least we had great seats.