Finding peace and beauty amidst disturbance

A fantastic rose garden in our little suburb of Dallas provides a sanctuary of peace and beauty. I loved these roses both for their vibrancy and quantity of blooms, but also for the wood and metal frame.

If a writer isn’t writing, is he or she really a writer?

I know I’m not the only one with this issue since coronavirus disrupted our lives. I’m one of many who have not been able to concentrate or have unstable emotions. It is to expected. We just didn’t know that we should expect grief as well as interruptions to our routines and lifestyle and rites of passage.

It’s been six weeks since I’ve written anything for public consumption. My storytelling abilities are a struggle at best, but under the stress of the last few weeks when my husband and my two dual-credit college students started working from home and figuring out new routines has shriveled my word-smithing like a plum in the hot, dry sun.

My creativity hasn’t totally died even as it has withered. I knit while watching Marvel movies with my boys, and when I need to escape from the stress, I hide in the garage painting with pastels in my makeshift art studio/gym. I haven’t completed anything yet, but I have several works in progress.

I also play with the camera, er, um, phone. My middle son took a digital imaging class at the community college, wanting to learn PhotoShop. He was upset to learn how much photography was involved, but once he recovered from his disappointment, he’s taken to the projects with gusto, especially when he is assigned projects that allow him to combine photos using PhotoShop. I’ve learned a lot watching him and looking over his shoulder, and I’ve enjoyed playing with my newfound knowledge and the new apps on my phone camera.

The Farmers Branch Rose Garden was originally a test garden for David Austin Roses, and is in peak gorgeousness right now.

In addition, I walk and bike ride, yes, both, most days, with my youngest son and husband. It’s a rare day I don’t put in more than 5 combined miles. My legs are getting stronger. I’m also learning more about my neighborhood and seeing beauty in unexpected places.

Last night, my husband and I went for a 3.5 mile walk after dark. We ended up at the rose garden. I knew from a bike ride last week that the roses were in bloom, so we stopped to see what we could, which was not much in the dark. I decided to take a few pictures anyway.

I was delighted to find the camera takes wonderful photos in the dark too. I wasn’t even sure what I was shooting, or else I would have chosen a rose without a hunk of petal missing.
Learning to photograph in different lighting conditions has been fun.
I’m astounded at how many different shades of pink roses grow in this one garden! What a treasure.

So I decided that today, my son and I would bike ride to the park, take art supplies and water and enjoy the peace and beauty. A perfect day awaited us. The breeze from the bike ride was chilly, but once we found a sheltered spot to sit in the garden, heaven.

I took my pastels because they didn’t require much set up or clean up. Roses are more difficult to draw with pastel than I thought they would be. The peach blush on a few of these blooms enchanted me. The scent was delectable.
Surprise! A new sculpture. Mr. Zebra is artfully framed by roses. Thank you to whoever purchased this for our enjoyment. And a special thank you to the artist. We really appreciate the whimsy.

Just as I was cleaning up to head home, a stranger sat down opposite of the flower bed to chat. She’s had a not-so-good adventure and was alone in our city. She offered a bit of connection in these days of disconnect. We shared a nice moment.

She had no idea about my blog, but she suggested I write. I’ve been playing with words again the last few days, but also feel the need to share my photos, so I decided to follow up on her words. My writing group will probably be thrilled that I’m not just a hanger on, at least at this moment.

To the lovely sojourner: Thank you for a bit of companionship this afternoon. May you find a sanctuary of peace on your journey.

5 thoughts on “Finding peace and beauty amidst disturbance

  • Your words are so perfect for these dark days. Your photos are terrific, especially the night shots. The lady you met is someone you will never forget, an encounter that is so special.

    • I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, but getting better at it, thanks to what I’m learning from my kiddo makes it even more fun lately.

  • Thank you for this, Kate! I’m glad you’re writing–I love your voice! The beautiful photos of flowers are very welcome to this Wisconsinite’s eyes! I hope you are well!

    • Thank you for your response, Rebecca. Writing is difficult, if not impossible, most days. Life feels like a rollercoaster of emotions but we are doing fairly well most of the time.

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