Sunday Evening Reflection: Opening the Garden

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” May Sarton

On March 17, 2020, British Columbia declared a public health emergency in the province. That was the day we entered into what I have come to think of as the time of solitude and social isolation.

It has been four months now. While we continue to be on alert, we are learning how to live in a new reality that requires care in the way we conduct our daily routines.

This week, the North Vancouver Park & Tilford Gardens slowly opened its gates for people to meander through the garden. There are areas still closed to the public, but the gardening team welcomed us with blue arrows to mark the path and instructions on how to keep safe. I wanted to share the moment when I first stepped through those open gates.

Join me as we head into Park & Tilford Gardens. I am grateful for your company.

55 Comments Add yours

  1. elisabethm says:

    Such a lovely place! Thank you for showing it off so prettily!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Ah, Elisabeth – there is nothing like a garden to pick up the spirits. One of my favourite garden quotes is by George Bernard Shaw: “The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.” Have a wonderful week. Sending hugs and love your way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. elisabethm says:

        That’s very true, Rebecca. I’m happy that you are now able to visit again 😊

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely post and so nice for you to get out there to a favorite place. Again the music fits beautifully, moving along at the right pace.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am thrilled that you joined me on my walk through the garden. When we meet up in Dundee, let’s go to the Dundee Botanic Garden. I’ve visited it virtually and now have placed it on my important “to-see” list. Hugs coming from across the pond.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes!! it is a nice place. I am sure you would like it in that it seems to me to be your kind of place from the posts I see here. Lots of hugs back to you. Really enjoyed that walk there.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Klausbernd says:

    Dear Rebecca,
    thanks for the quote from May Sarton. We fully agree. Just during the lockdown we did a lot of gardening.
    Dina is into photographing flowers now as well.
    Thank for taking us to Tilford Gardens 🙏🙏
    Wishing a wonderful week and sending hugs
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you enjoyed the quote by May Sarton. I have been interested in her poetry and life, which has led me to her book: “Journal of a Solitude,” which is a meditation on creativity, oneness with natures and the courage it takes to be alone. Serendipity always brings the right book for the right time!! 🙂 You have a wonderful garden – so glad that I was there. Looking forward to Dina’s photographs. Sending many hugs and lots of love to the Fab Four of Cley.🌳🌳🌳🤗🤗🤗🌿🌿🌿

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Klausbernd says:

        🤗🤗🤗🤗
        💫✨⚡️💫
        XXXX
        💃👭🚶‍♂️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave Astor says:

    Such a beautiful place, Rebecca! Glad it has (partly) reopened! Solace from nature is MUCH needed these days. Thanks for the excellent words and images!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I agree wholeheartedly, Dave. Nature reminds me of being present in a world that is much older than me, of being enveloped by grace and welcomed by all things that walk this world. Frances Hodgson Burnett in her book, The Secret Garden, says it best.

      “Sometimes since I’ve been in the garden I’ve looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast. Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing. Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden – in all the places.”

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’m seeing so many people in the blogging community taking solace in nature, myself included.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s wonderful when areas and venues such as this one reopen to the public. We’ve taken so much for granted.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      How very very well said, Jennifer. What we have come to see is that the idea of “entitlement” has nuanced our thinking. It is so easy to think that we will always have our safety nets. A week ago, I visited my dentist, wearing a mask. They took my temperature before allowing me to enter – all essential protocols. Dentists offices were closed for six weeks and have now slowly opened, much to the relief of patients who were experiencing dental emergencies. I am grateful for the many people who are working diligently to find answers to this virus. Meanwhile, stay safe and be well, my dear friend. Thank you for joining me in the garden.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I went to have blood taken for routine tests recently and had to wear a mask, as well as answer questions. I respect the protocols in place and as you say, I’m grateful for the work being done. Lovely post, Rebecca. 💕

        Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s been my thought as well in recent months, Jennifer. We have taken so much for granted.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh indeed! Little did we know what lay in store.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Ms Frances says:

    Yes, this is a beautiful place and a quiet place for reflection. I enjoyed the walk with you. There are several nice places near to have coffee or tea and goodies that are slowly and carefully opening up. I am happy for the times that we can enjoy this place together. Thank you for sharing, we will enjoy again this summer to see the flowers that will come to bloom later–and perhaps sit and have a visit on one of the blenches.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I look forward to that time, Frances! Many hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Ms Frances says:

    Thank you for sharing your walk with me, enjoyed it a lot. We will come here again this summer and perhaps sit on one of the benches for a little visit.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      That would be wonderful, Frances. The areas that remain closed are where the benches are located. The excellent gardening team is dedicated to ensuring the safety of visitors. As I look back over these past four months, we have progressed slowly but surely in understanding this pandemic. I am comforted by the many people who are diligently working to solve the mystery of this virus.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, Rebecca what a beautiful walk to this wonderful garden. What a start to my week! Thank you, my dear friend! Many hugs your way! xoxoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I’m delighted that you joined me, Marina. Last year, during the summer months, artists were invited to come into the garden with their brushes and easels. It was marvelous to watch the artists creating amazing paintings. Have a wonderful week! Hugs coming back with all speed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was a pleasure! How lovely!
        A wonderful week to you and many more hugs!!!!! 🤗😘

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed coming along on your garden walk, particularly the Japanese garden section. I haven’t seen one since I left Virginia.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I was thinking of our Tanka conversation!!! Perfect location for recitation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it would be!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A most beautiful garden, Rebecca. Thanks for taking me along on your peaceful and soul-restoring walk. xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I enjoy your company, Sylvia as we navigate a very uncertain time in our lives. I keep on remembering your mother’s words: “This too shall pass.” Please keep safe. Hugs and more hugs.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. J.D. Riso says:

    Thank you for yet another beautiful stroll and reflection, Rebecca. Just want to let you know that I have been enjoying your posts, even though I haven’t been commenting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      My dear friend, I have felt your presence and that is the best of all feelings. When I look back at the words we chose for 2020, – you, illumination, and me, reconciliation – the universe has given us the time and circumstances to experience the fullness of those words. We are on a grand adventure that introduces twists and turns – it is good to be on the path together.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Anjali says:

    This is fantastic 👏❤️
    I have a blog do check it out 😁
    Don’t forget to like and follow

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Liz says:

    I can see why this is your favourite garden – such a lovely space of beauty and tranquility. It is wonderful to take these walks with you, thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      A couple of days ago, I was thinking of our tour of the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens in 2015. It was a rainy day which made it even more memorable. At the end of the day, someone used a huge bell to ring out that it is closing time. Whenever anyone says that something is a “warning bell” I think of the Edinburgh Botanical Garden. So glad you joined me in the garden!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Liz says:

        That’s such a wonderful memory, isn’t it. I am looking forward to getting back to the Botanics some time, although not just yet. They have reopened but we remain cautious about venturing too far for the time being. X

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        We do live in extraordinary times, Liz. I know exactly what you mean. Every outing is planned with consideration to time and location. Grocery shopping at this time, and walks at that time. When I went for a dental appointment, I had my mask on and before I was allowed into the office, they took my temperature. I am amazed by the commitment of our heath care and emergency services personnel to keep every one safe. Meanwhile, I have my photos of the day we spent at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens!

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Jean-Jacques says:

    Beautiful… feels like home! The kind of feeling you experiences when You’ve been away for a very long time, and you can’t wait to get back…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      You always have a wonderful way of envisioning a mood, an event, a poignant moment with words, Jean-Jacques. Homecoming is a the best feeling in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Mary Jo Malo says:

    I love that the garden has bamboo and other trees and plants we don’t have here along Lake Michigan. I agree with Liz G; the Japanese section is quite lovely. Don’t quite know what we’d all do without access to nature these days! Thank you for bringing us along…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I was just reading an excellent article on how Monet’s Garden was brought back to life after it had languished for several decades. Giverny’s Renaissance began in 1976 when Gerald Van derKemp, the former Versailles chief curator, and his wife, Florence, turned their attention to capture Monet’s vision. Gardens are essential – I agree with your statement – what would we do without access to nature!!! So glad that you joined me at Park & Tilford Gardens, which incidentally was originally a distillery. I always think that there was something left in the soil…. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mary Jo Malo says:

        It’s hard to believe Monet’s Garden was left to languish. He created that entire garden just so he could paint it! Haha, something in left the soil of Park & Tilford Gardens 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Anjali says:

    This is fantastic…
    I also have a blog please do check it out and don’t forget to like and follow…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for stopping by and for your comments. All the very best on your blogging journey.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Anjali says:

        Thank you so much ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautiful and an enjoyable read. This has been such a difficult time. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for joining me in the garden and for your comments. I agree – we live in uncertain times. Nature has a way of reminding us that we are not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Resa says:

    Oh my! That is extremely lush and luscious.
    How wonderful that it is now open for people to enjoy, with social distancing, of course.
    I so do enjoy your reflections.
    NOW… a treat for you! You might already know of it, but just in case you don’t https://vangoghexhibit.ca/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Resa, I have been following the van Gogh exhibition. And it is coming to your city!! I wish I could beam over, but I will live the exciting through you, my dear friend. It will be an unparalleled experience.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Resa says:

        I hope I get there. I need to talk Norm into going, as he has the car. It’s on until the end of September, so the public transportation might be a go for me then. They mandated masks on the TTC. I live near a streetcar stop, and am watching to see how many obey. As the TTC is loosing an inordinate amount of money every day, (92,000,000.00 / month) I’m sure if people don’t comply, they will begin harsher enforcement. If they want the ridership back, they are going to need 100% compliance. I know I’m waiting for it!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        My brother works with Edmonton transit and they have strict protocols as well. We live in a time where we must take care – I have several masks that Frances has made. Take care of yourself!!! I hope you can make it to the Van Gogh exhibition!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Resa says:

        Lucky you…. Frances masks! I sew, so I have been making a few for myself. Although, as I am 10-15 hours away from FINALLY finishing the new Art Gown, it seems my energy wants to go that way.
        Except, tomorrow is my big excursion to buy Art Paper in mid- town. Certain supplies are spotty in the city.
        So, it will be a bit away, as I will post the new Art Gown first, but I have this idea to incorporate you as the Art Director in my next PBH/Art gowns adventure. Will keep you posted on that.
        Meantime… YES… I want to see the Van Gogh exhibit! Huggos!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Clanmother says:

        What an amazing journey we are on Resa! I’ll be thinking of you on your big excursion! Hugs and more hugs!!! I’m ready for the next PBH/Art gowns adventure!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Resa says:

        Me too!
        I’ll be posting the new Art Gown first, as it looks like about 10 hours away.
        Then, I’ll start drawing again! I need to try and capture you, in a drawing, as an Art Director. You’ve posted a lot of pics of yourself, so I should be able to tap in.. in my comic book /fashion sketch way. I found the Art Paper today. Not sure, but I think an Art Gowns Art Director would wear Palazzo Pants, and a very arty top. I went half across the city. They had only 3 – 11×14 pads left. I bought them all. I walked home (3hours) and found a spectacular mural!
        Life is still good, even though on hold!

        Liked by 1 person

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