We arrived at the garden about an hour later then I like on Friday morning – we both were moving a little slowly. I didn’t like what a saw, a long string of cars driving into the parking lot and people streaming onto the boardwalk leading up to the ticketing windows. Then I saw the sign, “Annual Orchid Show and Sale.” We walked in the opposite direction as we started our stroll and suddenly we were alone – the garden was ours to enjoy without bumping into people.
I didn’t have my camera because this time was for Jim, and I had gone to the garden alone with camera equipment on Wednesday. I didn’t miss my camera because I wasn’t interested in taking photos of people buying orchids in the concession area, the building where the orchid show was set up wasn’t open because judging was taking place, and the small orchid garden was full of people. Besides I knew that I had some really nice photographs of some of the Garden’s orchids taken on Wednesday.
The above photo is of about 1/3 of the orchid garden and the orchids you see in this view are only about half of the orchids on display in this area because of those that are hidden from this angle and too small to be see from a distance. Walking into the orchid garden can take a person’s breath away but my heart is quieted and spirit soothed by the gentle water music from two water features. My mind is soon engaged as I focus on individual plants and find new ones I want to photograph. What joy. I wish you could join me there, but maybe my photographs will work almost as well. If you do decide to join me at the garden, I’ll treat you to a ginger limeaid and mixed berry scone.
I decided to participate in Which Way Photo Challenge this week because I’ve been listening to people who have the experience to understand the mess our country is in (scientists and career public servants). I have been searching for those people who can give me hope that there is a way out of the climate crisis that is causing carnage around the world; the racial and ethnic inequality that has been the elephant in our history; the Covid-19 pandemic that about a third of the country, the third that is listening to our president, believes is no bid deal; and the upcoming election in a little less than a month that will determine the fate of our country and impact the world order. Is there a way out of this mess?
I listened to Joe Biden’s speech given at Gettysburg yesterday. For those of you in other parts of the world, Gettysburg is where a major battle in our Civil War took place, a war that was being fought to defeat the southern states that wanted to leave the union in order to maintain their slavery economy. The war being fought for the soul of our nation, and that was the message of Biden’s speech. I felt myself relaxing as I listened to him because he sounded very presidential, he talked about being the president for everyone – even those who don’t agree with his policies. He talked about wanting to hear everyone, and work with people on both sides of the isle in Congress. He talked about not having to think in either/or terms: We don’t have to destroy jobs to have clean energy – clean energy will create jobs under his policies. We don’t have to choose between law-and-order and racial justice – we can support our police forces while making the justice system and economy work for all people. It brings tears to my eyes to think of a time when people of color won’t have to teach their children how to be invisible so they don’t get shot or incarcerated. It brings tears of joy to my eyes to imagine Native reservations and Hispanic communities that are thriving economically so their people can be productive and live lives that are healthy and safe.
I am exhausted by the chaos created by this administration – the everyday defiance of common sense decency and integrity. It exhausts me to see our covid-infected president take off his mask before entering his residence where he could infect hundreds of career workers who serve him. I am livid that he tweeted that all Republicans should stop negotiations on another monetary aid bill that our families and small businesses need so desperately. I am exhausted by his lying and all the people who either believe him or don’t have the courage to call him out, who are afraid of him or think they can gain power and profit by allying themselves with him. This administration has exhausted me so much that I have a hard time keeping my faith that the other problems can be righted. Maybe that is their strategy.
But yesterday I did the most important thing that a citizen of a democracy can do – I voted. And this year, for the first time in my life (or at least in the past 30-40 years) I voted a straight ticket. Now all I have to do is hang on for the next month as we grope our way through the fog of pain, fear, despair, and anger along the road to a better way. We are a strong country and it is time for every person who cares about others as much as themselves to do what needs to be done. Make sure you vote for Joe Biden, even if you don’t agree with his policies. What you will be voting for is decency, honesty, and thoughtful/intelligent policies. And then pick a better candidate for the next election.
One of my greatest joys of summer is going to the farmer’s market to obtain produce and flowers for a summer’s evening meal.
Here in Michigan vegetables are just beginning to ripen and farmers are beginning to show up for the markets. On my first three trips to local markets I found some strawberries, tomatoes, zuchinni, summer squash, snap peas, romaine lettuce, blueberries, and raspberries. I am hoping our favorite berry people, Ken & Janet, will be here next Tuesday with the very sweetest blueberries I have had anywhere.
Our daughter Sharon decided to work from our home in Michigan for July and August to escape the southern Texas heat and severe outbreak of Covid-19. She drove, bringing her canning jars and pressure cooker so she could can tomatoes and all the other fresh vegetables that will be harvested in those two months. We are especially eager to work together making relishes and salsas to fill our pantries.
It took me a while to narrow down what I like about summer when the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Summer came out this week. I could have posted on my summer garden, sewing in my three-season room, sprinklers, inland lakes with small docks, camping and picnics. Oh, and my purple porch swing, outings for ice cream, corn growing in the neighboring fields…