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My Planet: Kubota Garden, Seattle, Washington

Some places you can visit over and over again and never tire, particularly when you are walking solo, particularly in early morning, when there are no other footsteps, when there are no other voices, when there are no other priorities or perspectives.

While I've lived there twice in my lifetime and have several places I love, I will never live in the Emerald City again. While I built a beautiful garden, it will never be the place I will ever feel completely at home in. The first time around, it was a new journey for a young woman just after turning 21, full of unknowns and adventures and independence, in a neighborhood where everything I could ever want was within a short distance. The second time around, it was not. I had not learned my lesson about running from grief, and that grief was sitting there, waiting for me in the new place when I arrived. It never quite leaves you, and the people around you don't empathize, don't sympathize, don't extend a hand. Maybe it's the culture of the Pacific Northwest, the "Northwest Nice" passive-aggressiveness I've always butted heads with, that is revealing itself to me the older I get. And I quickly learned in the second time around that the only places I could exhale were the gardens - my own, the plant nurseries I frequently sought respite in, and Kubota, the Japanese garden that was more of a sanctuary than a formal botanic garden. It let you get lost in it, find quiet places to sit, showed you the contrasts and colors and shapes without putting up a big fuss, it let you just be.

These places on the planet seem harder to find, particularly in cities. I am grateful for the quiet of the new year's day which just after dawn showed me there is color in winter, that there is hope out there. somewhere, someday it will reemerge. i will reemerge.

“Each morning, we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~ Buddha


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