Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Green Space Surpises

Ten minutes away is my friend's new home. She moved in two weeks ago, but it's the first time I've gone to visit. Hidden behind a hillside of trees, it's a little hard to find. I park the car and walk towards the front porch. It's shaded, cool and I want to sit down and never leave. She shows me the back porch, the spectacular sledding hill; she points to the giant trees and describes a stream that runs through the small forest. It's a Shangri-la. When she suggests we sit on the porch, my body melts into a wicker chair. I could have never guessed a place as delightful as this rested in the middle of our city. 

In addition to the astounding architecture, the history, the cuisine, it is the unexpected green spaces that make Paris such a lovely city. They are often surprises, tucked away and only found after following a thin path.  It's almost like falling down a rabbit hole into another world. One leaves behind the horn honking taxis, the grind of a bus, the anxious people that carry a sound of their own. 

While on our bikes, Tony made a sudden turn on a gravel pathway. A guard ran us down and told us to get off our bikes. We happily complied. 

We found this incredible arbor, just a month away from its full potential.

Sometimes those little green spaces jolt us into sadness, like when we came upon this placquard with an old friend from my childhood.

This tree had grown from a graft of the tree outside of Anne Frank's hiding place.

This little green space, kitty corner from Notre Dame had a  recent tribute to the French, Jewish children who were killed during the war.
We found this hidden garden by walking through an open door.

We've found cemeteries can be peaceful green spaces and full of surprises too.
Look who we discovered!

I have found whether it is a park, or a soft chair under a blooming wisteria, or a forgiving corner in my thoughts, that I desperately need places of refuge.  I've always tried to think of my home as my sanctuary. There is a humanness that craves this separation from life's wind and tremors.

As I watch my friend in her new home, in her new marriage, I see she has found refuge in both.