Brookside Gardens will always be a special place. The gardens are always beautiful and every time I visit, there’s always something different in bloom.
This weekend’s visit was special because the indoor garden building was open. It has been closed last year and every time we went this year it was a little too late to go inside.
We were able to see the cacti, orchids, palms, and other beautiful indoor dwellers. It was like revisiting old friends. Such a peaceful place to sit and breathe deeply and take in everything around you.
I struggle not to take a thousand pictures every time we visit. I limited myself to just a few. Including the obligatory proof that I leave the house at times.
Today started with an adventure. An train ride through the countryside of rural Maryland. It started a few weeks back when we went looking for fall foliage train rides and located a few in Maryland. We decided to try the Walkersville Southern Railroad for our first ride. It was closer to home, cheaper and didn’t require getting up as early.
And it was indeed a train ride. Through the wilds of townhome developments and backyards. We passed over a pretty creek and held up traffic across a few roads. It was a short hour-long ride up and back a single track. (Did you know trains could go forward then reverse back the same they came?) It was a short train with two open-air cars (and hard wooden benches), two indoor cars (with padded seats and windows that opened) and a caboose decorated to be used as a birthday party setting with limited (padded) seats and two small chairs up a ladder at the top of the car.
It was unusually full, I had assumed on a beautiful 70 degree day in October people used that as an excuse to take their kids on a train. But the ticket taker commented this was as full as one of their Christmas rides and it wasn’t usually this packed (there wasn’t an empty seat on the train).
I wish it had taken us past some actual fall foliage rather than through town, passed developments (that perhaps were trees once.) But it was a pleasant ride and not so expensive I regretted the trip.
After the ride, we walked through their small museum, and daydreamed about setting up our own elaborate country scene with model trains running through it.
Afterwards, we had some shopping to do which led to our next adventure of the day we didn’t plan.
We stumbled upon Wonder Books and Video in Frederick, Maryland. And it was far better than I could have hoped. The book shelves stretched forever with cluttered, but well-maintained stacks of every sort of books, new and old, one could hope for. There was also a huge selection of DVDs and Vinyl. There were also cassette tapes and 8-tracks. I could have easily spent all day in the store and far more money than I did.
From the FREE OLD BOOK SMELL sign on the door, to the friendly, helpful staff inside, may be the perfect bookstore. We have already made plans to return with a list as I have the problem of never remembering what books I’m looking to buy when I’m in a place to buy them. Beforehand, they flood my brain. Afterwards, they haunt me like apparitions of a lost opportunity. But in the moment, my brain empties, achieving a perfect meditation.
Arriving home from work before the time changed and the world plunged into darkness by 5pm I looked out my balcony window. I had to stop and stare at the explosion of fall colors outside. From seven stories up, I have an unobstructed view of the trees and sky as far as the eye can see.
I was struck by just how beautiful the part of the world I live in can be during the Fall. Growing up in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley ((and being a kid)) I took for granted the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the expanses of trees and farmland.
Now that I’m older, I take the time to reflect on the natural beauty of the world.
It’s so easy to forget how much beauty there is in the world and so easy to fall victim to the busyness invading every waking moment of my life.
Randy Murray wrote recently about noticing the beauty around you and even before he put this thoughts into words as the daily writing assignment for 11-11-11 I had similar thoughts.
The world is such a gorgeous place and so often I’m too busy and rushing too fast to stop and notice it. Stop and take a moment today to notice how beautiful the world around you is.