Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bicentennial Gardens

We took a walk this morning in Bicentennial Gardens, before the day heated up too much. "Turbo" likes the grass cool and damp with dew or sprinkler water.
Greensboro is fortunate to have a series of public gardens, from the European-style manicured beds of the Bicentennial Gardens to the long paths of the Arboretum to the hills and waterways of the Bog Garden.
I particularly like the Bicentennial Gardens because they offer the kindness of wide paths and a ban on bicycles and faster things. Grandparents on walkers, children in strollers, dogs large and small, young lovers, birdwatchers and readers and dreamers come together here - a respectful society devoted to gentle pleasures.
Our world gets louder, closer, faster, and coarser all the time. There's scarcely a space for the young father who bends down a mulberry branch to pick the small fruit and share them with his son. The public gardens offer that.
Many of us have yards, large or small, private retreating-places, but a city needs the commons where we come together. Central Park with its sunning fields, the Tuileries with the men playing at boules, or Greensboro's lesser-known walks, all serve to bind us together as a civil society.
This morning we met Fred and Susan Chappell on the walk. They were among the azaleas, deep in the green shade, in this place for poets. This place for people.

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