(If you want to hear the sounds of the Conservatory - running water and trilling birds - click here first).
"Greenhoused and sung to
I pray light will
Leak from our pockets
We'll be drenched, overcome"
(Michelle Garrels, "Jacaranda")
We went to the Conservatory.
I wanted to go the day before, but no one else was on board.
On this bright and icy Monday, we actually got out the door in good time and made the easy drive to Minnesota's nearest jungle.
One hundred years ago, local leaders were using their heads.
They hired a German landscape artist named Frederick Nussbaumer to design a 60,000 square foot glass and wood building, modeled after Kew Gardens in England.
All this beauty, all this watery air, a wealth of palms and ferns and familiar fruiting trees (mango, coconut, cacao, avocado), all of it, free.
The Conservatory, banked in snow
The Sunken Garden
Palms inside the dome.
White roses in the Sunken Garden.
Trying to get Mick to look at the camera
Sometimes, if we only have a couple of kids with us,
we like to pretend we're on a date.
Walking on the paths, no coats!
Oh for joy.
This was the part of the conservatory with all the trees from my childhood.
I was especially thrilled to see the mango tree with its long, deep green leaves.
Texture, color, light and childhood memories.
"In difficult times
carry something beautiful
in your heart."