You can’t call it a back yard. When I think of a back yard, I think of a decent swath of green grass — enough for a few kids to at least play catch or toss a football — and maybe a garden.
No, it has none of that. But it is quite beautiful. If you were to look for a retreat, a place to hang out for a day and just sit and think, this would suit you well.
Not quite a back yard but bigger than a typical patio. Not a piazza, but maybe a courtyard (If you don’t immediately think of a Motel 6 courtyard). A courtyard that feels like an atrium. That will do.
The garden is walled in and sheltered from strong winds. Very cool, though, for most of the day.
Last year a neighbor added about 20 feet of wall on one side. At first, it looked awful. Then the garden elves applied textured mud and the angels drew down a little bit of the sky — the most becalming shade of blue I’ve ever seen.
I sometimes forget the wall is there.
The yard has statues, flowers, trees, tables, and chairs. And a fountain in the center is filled to overflowing with green plants. If you listen very softly, you can hear the fountain plants doing their best imitation of gurgling, falling water. They have become very good, with practice.
I guess you could say this is our Garden of Earthly Delights, with only some of Bosch’s haunting figures. Ours are cut from stone.
The sky is lightly overcast, so the shadows are at a minimum. The gauzy light seems to pump up the many shades of green and the colors of the flowers. Everything seems electric.
Make yourself at home.
I hope you will find a little peace and a little escape here in these photos.
And maybe, when this is all over, you can come to sit in our garden and perhaps read a book, meditate, do yoga, sip a glass of wine, talk to the angels.
For the time being, let these images help you shape your own garden of the imagination. A place you can retreat to inside your head when the walls seem to be closing in, or you can’t stand to look at another insulting image on Facebook, or the eyebrow twitching of your companion starts sounding like a Mack truck on a freeway.
You know what I mean.
Come on, join me. Take a little walk. Then sit in the shade and enjoy the light breeze.
I’ll fix you some tea.
Let’s take a quick walk around the grounds. Then I’ll introduce you to some of the statues.
There, we’ve come full circle. It isn’t much. But it is a circle. And do you know, you can walk in circles for a very very long distance and a very very long time — which is most useful when you have nowhere else to go.
Now, come meet a few of the creatures who live in the garden. You can ask them their names, and if they know magic, and such when you visit. Look carefully because the shy ones try to blend in with the flora. But they see you.
They watch over you while you are here.
No harm comes to anyone in the garden.
Let your breath trail out slowly through your pursed lips and let it take all that tension with it.
Can you smell the flowers? Feel the breeze?
Feel the freshness from last night’s rain?
Can you hear the stone angels humming that almost-but-not-quite-familiar tune?
You’ll remember its name soon enough.
For right now, know that you are in the garden
And everything here loves you.
And that is just enough.