I had heard about a free admission opportunity into this state park and convinced Brad  we should go check it out.  Reservations about the impending severe thunderstorm warning were mitigated by my personal promise to Brad that the excursion would be “super fun” (though I never specified for whom). Long story short, I had a blast!

Our adventure started with a minor hiccup when I had to reprimand Brad for foolishly offering up a $20 when we rolled up to the park security at the entrance. Forgive him, big-strong-officer-park-ranger-man, he knows not what he does.

“Did you all hear about the special..”

“Yes, sir, yes we did. Free park entry this Saturday as part of Tallahassee’s T.O.U.R. (Tourism is Our Ultimate Resource) initiative,”  I beamed a smile, then the quick evil eye to Brad with the instruction engraved therein to lower his wad of cash, and stop making me look like the cheapskate that won’t financially support our state parks.

“Yes, that’s right. Well, enjoy the park. And remember, there is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect.”

Like I said, minor hiccups.

Well, pretty much as soon as we parked the car, the drizzle started.

“Should I bring the umbrella?”, Brad asked.

How else are you going to cover me while I enjoy nature, I thought to myself.

“Yeah, just in case.”

The rain started coming down almost immediately, which actually made all the tall trees with their low-hanging Spanish moss look all the more beautiful. Their was a lake toward our right dressed in a very light blue hue, with the mist of the rain blurring its horizon.

Nature– misty, blurring, dark browns, dark greens, light blues, light greys–the smell and sound of rain—love, love, love. I couldn’t have felt happier.

Brad opened up the umbrella, and we wandered along the cobblestone path.

Without briefing Brad, I started pretending  I was an older, grumpy southern lady tourist and Brad was my insolent, park-assigned tour guide. Now usually, my vibrant imagination is stunted by my peers’ unwillingness to watch quietly as all of reality, including themselves, gets roped into my fantasy world. Now, I can’t say if it was just that Brad felt so trapped in close-proximity under our umbrella in the midst of the showers, that it seemed pointless to try and fend of my musing (though that was the plan), BUT he stopped fighting it, and eventually started going along with it. I, as tourist, made fun of him and complained about his inability to provide direction or knowledge of the park (as well as make hasty judgments concerning his general competence and sexual preference), while he cracked some pretty funny jokes from the standpoint of a tour guide at my expense. We both laughed a bunch and I have to admit, it was an even better time than I could have imagined up solo.

We got to view beautiful hanging gardens, and there was a rectangular reflection pond that honestly looked like the center of some magical secret garden in the mist of the rain. Unfortunately, we started to hear pretty serious thunder and the rain began to pour too heavy to continue on.

As we walked back under our umbrella toward the car, I made Brad promise we’d come back again when its raining (no thunder, though!), with rainproof gear (or, bathing suits) and tour the rest of the gardens, as well as explore the two nature trails also located in the state park.

Later we celebrated with dinner at Tan’s Asian Café- which served up an amazing dinner- and then capped off the day by catching up on a week’s worth of Colbert episodes. All super fun, if you ask me.


My First Bouquet of Flowers

Note: No real flowers were hurt in the process.


soteriology: the study of salvation
a trapeze swinger, swings you high as any savior.


Generous, vulnerable, insecure. The venue nurtures these dispositions. You are safe and small here. Words can grow up in their own time, prove themselves innocuous, inconsequential-- or,worse, prove themselves something better.


I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me...because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact. A matter of construction of their inner eyes. -Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man


-Goethe, on Nature