September 1, 2008

Cultivated Reading

For the past month or so, I’ve spent my Sunday afternoons reading in the park. Not just any park. It’s the grounds of an art institute, populated with artworks and gardens by the river.

Seeing the flower photos offered by fellow bloggers Greg, Jeepguy, and Joe inspired me to seek out a garden, a place where I could have calm after a busy Sunday morning. Now, instead of time alone in a chilled restaurant with loud piped-in music, I sit on a bench in dappled sunlight by the river.

Let me show you around.

Sidewalks and crushed shell trails meander through the grounds and under the trees. One of the biggest installations on the property is a structure that is made of woven vines.

Wander into the shade behind the huts to find “Twisted House.” I like the whimsy of this piece.

At this point I continue past a deck to benches on a secluded stone patio by the river. I sit here to read and listen to the water. Several kinds of bees buzz into flowers in pots and flowerbeds. (Last week a large grasshopper landed smack in the middle of the page I was reading. He didn’t stay for long.)

After reading for an hour or two, it’s time to go. I take the long way back to the car, meandering past more art pieces. This is a chair. Sort of.

Bubbles made of vine in all shapes and sizes perch in a dozen trees.

The “Imploding Sphere” sculpture looks better from a distance.

Small sculptures are planted in the gardens with the flowers.

In the parking lot, a pergola is lined with flowers and decked with globes. These globes contain deep-timbred chimes, each one singing a single warm tone in the breeze.

It is a lovely, peaceful way to bridge between a busy day at work and duties that await at home. Thank you, gentlemen, for showing me a new way to recharge.


somewhere joe said...

Parks are a quintessential hallmark of civilization. It's hard to imagine living in a city without at least one good one.

Thanks for the tour of yours. The sculptures are fascinating. I've awakened in a house like that... after a couple coffees it unfurled all right.

Jess said...

What a lovely post. This makes me want to take a book and my husband and go for a stroll in a nearby park, stopping to read for a while. Very nice!

Patrick said...

What a delightful find! I'm always glad to be reminded of some of the gems in Indy. I think I told you already that I loved the few Rail Trails I've been on there in the last five years. I'm going to follow your example; too often I feel like my trips to the parks have to be events all by themselves, on my days off, rather than briefer visits in between work and home. Might help me with my rush hour irritations.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Veeeeery nice, a person could certainly relax and get lost in their thoughts at a park like that one.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful stuff! Thanks for sharing your new place.

Me Online said...

That's an amazing park. I really like the twisted house. And the pergola can go in my backyard please.

Greg said...

Birdie, thanks for bringing us along to your park--what a wonderful spot!

I love how it feeds the soul in so many ways, not just with flowers and water and nature, but the cultivation of sense of humor, as well as all the other senses...and what a great spot for a bit of reading!!

(Patrick, that sounds like the right plan--if I were a city dweller, I think I'd be in and out of parks every free minute I had!)

David said...

I love sculpture parks. I visited a guy out in Western MA a number of years ago and we took some bikes and went riding through a private park loaded with modern art one afternoon.

Bear Me Out said...

I am so very blessed/grateful to live in a small city, surrounded by forests, trails, mountains, streams, rivers, etc. There are so many places to go, and not far away.

We've had and are having again a sculpture exhibit in one of our city parks, down by the rivah.

bigislandjeepguy said...

i second the "move the pergola to my backyard". that's awesome.