May 27, 2015, Reno- The sodden ground of Texas has been much on my mind, in this strange, beautiful and terrible end of May. The Red Cross has issued a call for volunteers, both general and specific. Once again, here I am, far afield from the disaster area, wrestling with a measure of guilt and facing my own challenge. Such is the cost of marching to one’s own drumbeat. There will come a time, again, when I will find myself in a disaster area, and will be all-in with the recovery work. For now, that work falls to others.
So, on I go- being here, in The Biggest Little City in the World, for some people who I have known, seemingly forever, and they for me. It will take another day or so for my vehicle to be refitted; then I will take my leave. I hope that, in some way, I will have refitted my friends to address their individual pain-fields, and to be more equipped to cast that pain aside.
Most cities have at least one public garden, where flora of all kinds are celebrated and allowed to flourish. One of Reno’s is the Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden, named in honour of a local philanthropist and rancher, who was a scion of the May Department Store’s founder. It is part of the larger Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. Our visit there, yesterday, took place under partly cloudy skies, in comfortable conditions. Here are a few scenes.
The Duck Pond had two intrepid mallards in it. The often ubiquitous Canadian geese were nowhere to be seen. It being a strange year, that is somehow not surprising.
After stopping by the Visitor’s Center, and confirming as to the reason for the dearth of waterfowl, we continued to the Arboretum and Botanical Garden, proper. St. Patrick’s Grove greets the visitor, and extends along the sidewalk.
The stone shamrock reflects, with its cracks, the experience of Ireland.
The Labyrinth Garden is small, and mainly features ground cover, around the intriguing maze-like circle.
Passing into the Arboretum, we came first to the Kleiner Grove, featuring oaks of the East Coast.
A small area is set aside, in honour of Wilbur May’s mother.
The bridge, and adjacent waterfalls, express Mrs. May’s tastes.
This waterfall was available for photographing. The other was the focus of another patron’s deep meditation.
This abandoned water slide lies just east of the park.
The Songbird Garden was rather quiet, but then, it was mid-afternoon.
These fountain stones evoked Carnac, for me.
Light and shadow have a reassuring effect.
While finishing up our visit, I thought of Blucher Park, Corpus Christi’s downtown nature walk, which feature’s that area’s native plants. It was lovely, this time of year, in 2012. I wonder about its condition now, after the tribulations of last weekend. Corpus saw its record for wettest month broken, this past weekend. It apparently did not suffer as much as places further north and east, but the pain is there, and the community lost one of its own, in floodwaters near the town of Uvalde, west of San Antonio.
We continued on, this afternoon, to Reno’s Riverwalk and downtown. More about these, in Part 2.