Thanks to a Groupon coupon, my husband and I took a few days off from work and rode the Clipper up to Victoria, where we last visited on our honeymoon.
I love being on a boat. And I loved that the sun came out. And while I enjoyed the neighborhoods and the architecture and the people, I also had some time to remember and think over some things about writing.
1. Work with the flaw
This is an adage I got from my husband, via my sister. And I thought of this at Butchart Gardens as I oohed and awed over the Sunken Garden.
The garden was planted in a former limestone quarry. It helps that Mrs. Butchart had a staff and substantial resources–but she also had a vision.
Ross Fountain, added by her grandson…
2. Stay grounded, and invite change
The Japanese garden is rooted in the traditional elements, but it also includes native plants and nontraditional elements. It synthesizes old and new. Plus, the kids running back and forth across these stepping stones were hilarious–quite the show.
3. Do what you love–or Form is okay
I was so excited to see the Italian Garden on the map. When we arrived, it was kind of small–but very formal, with a fountain and waterlilies. I had to fit it in somehow, because it’s Italy. (Plus, that’s my husband on the left.)
4. Sometimes it’s free
One afternoon, I walked up the hill, looking for fabulous Victorian houses. I found the Government House, with fabulous grounds. Here, open to the public to wander and free of charge, was my Italian garden.
Like the poem that comes to you as a gift. You just have to walk up the hill. You just have to show up.
5. It’s okay to be simple
Amid all the big, showy peonies, this simple bloom:
6. It’s okay to make stuff up
7. Have fun with who you are
Who I’m not: a photographer. But would this fit in my Italian garden? If, when?
It was hard to leave. It’s nice to be home. And I’m glad for some time to weed and write.
Tags: on the road