No Foolin' - this was the perfect way to usher in National Poetry Month at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
4th Sunday Claremont Poets.
I wasn't sure what to expect: A pathway lined with beautiful rose bushes leading to a proper English garden, a wafting fragrance of Bergamot tea to celebrate the first day of National Poetry Month? A tea garden of lavender, rose hips, and chamomile... where my pastel pink top could tease the other flowers? A large white gazebo where my white gauze wing sleeved top and long flowing pastel skirt could twirl in words? And there I was dreaming too much - doing too little, reciting Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Swing" over and over to myself.
The pathway to the reading was lined with indigenous plants, a variety of cacti and succulents with small, big-bellied lizards swiftly waddling around - doing those lizard push-ups (I'm sure there is some scientific explanation - but I just like to imagine that they are buffing up). I also like to imagine that - and I don't know why - squirrels are kids playing baseball... rabbits always seem to be wondering what they were doing... they pause - look about like they are trying to remember what it is they were supposed to be doing - take a couple of hops and stop again... And none of this is even part of the poetry reading yet.
Needless to say, with all of these mind journeys - I was late and got lost several times. At this event, sharing poetry in nature seemed to allow the words to seep in a little bit more, they seem more organic. The absences of the distracting hum of lights and background white noise was refreshing and the breeze and movement of nature kept the energy flowing even when everyone sat quiet and still.
Though not quite transcendental - it was definitely a refreshing reconnection to the profound peace and joy that poetry and nature nurtures within us.
An added bonus: I enjoyed the day and experience so much I bought a one year membership so that I can go on nature walks and write at leisure.
Welcome to my observations on the craft of writing, venues and writing community experiences.