Monday, June 04, 2012

A Good Day for the Roses

Someone somewhere once said that every now and then one should just stop and smell the roses.

While in truth, my sense of sight was more exuberantly engaged than my sense of smell, this is essentially what I did on Saturday, as I took a stroll through the bloomingly beauteous Chicago Botanic Garden with my mom.

I wasn't overtly seeking emotional rejuvenation or spiritual awakening, but after day after day spent
applying for jobs, coping with interconnected challenges (of both a tangible and cosmic nature), being consistently disillusioned by the corrupt economic and political system and--as if I needed any more affirmation that things are really screwed up--noting the atrocious jobs report released on Friday, well let's just say that on myriad levels it was good for me to walk outside on a picture-perfect day and soak in the sumptuousness of nature.

As the photos below should connote, it's an idyllic time of year to visit the Botanic Garden, located in Highland Park, as roses of many colors are in bloom. In addition to the flowers, plants, trees, ponds, luscious landscapes, etc., I also enjoyed seeing the Railroad Garden, populated by sculptures of U.S. landmarks similar to the Chicago-centric ones in the Wonderland Express indoor exhibit last winter. Following the floral pix, I've included some of the Railroad Garden as well.

Adding to any overt and covert emotional nourishment, my mom and I followed our Botanic Garden jaunt with some great BBQ at Real Urban Barbecue in downtown Highland Park. Then on Sunday, another day of glorious sunshine, I took an excursion with my friend Ken to Oak Park, for a rare chance to tour the home where Ernest Hemingway grew up and hear great stories from a guy who knew Hem's family. And I once again enjoyed some great BBQ, at the erstwhile Russell's (in Elmwood Park).

Now it's Monday again and I'm back at my desktop, with the obstacle course of life again offering considerable encumbrances. Nothing has really changed in regards to what is wrong with the world, but it certainly was nice--and beyond--to have been, via such a kaleidoscopic spectacle of nature, reminded what is right about it.

And here are the pictures to prove it:

As mentioned above, below are a few photos of the Railroad Garden, featuring sculptures--all made with natural materials--of local and national landmarks.

A couple Bonzai trees below, and a family of swans.

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