I turned off the alarm this morning and just let myself sleep until I woke up naturally, after last night's thunderboomer lullabies. It was really nice knowing I didn't have any appointments or obligations to anyone else today.
My eyes opened around 12:30 p.m., which may be hard for early risers to comprehend. I know grownups are supposed to leap out of bed, ready to greet the day. That doesn't happen in my house, people, and probably still won't even when I'm 80. I'm NOT a morning person.
But as I rose, I remembered what I wrote previously about the joys of Saturday morning, and decided today was going to be a special day. I was going to make today an artist's date with myself.
This is something I do every now and then to renew my creative spirit. It's something I've learned from online groups that are based on Julia Cameron's book, "The Artist's Way.: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity." I have put the book high on my "to read" list.
My idea for the day was to gain inspiration and appreciation for the creative process. There are several places that do this for me: Museums, libraries, gardens, galleries among them.
Today was a combination of two of my favorites, gardens and galleries. Today's mission was to visit Coles Garden, across the street north of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. I've been intrigued since the gardens opened a few years back, and can't believe I've waited so long to go see the place in person.
It's a nice place to visit and it's not one of those "all day" places. I was able to go at my leisure, slowly wandering along the garden paths, seeing the different plantings and statues.
There are a couple of secluded areas enclosed in tall hedges that are set aside for weddings. A bride (and groom) would be proud to start their married life in these lovely settings. An indoor chapel and reception room are also available.
Among the different garden scenarios is a memory garden. Trees and plantings have been given in memory of loved ones, and Good Shepherd Hospice has established a memorial tree for the patients it has served. The tree, similar to a Christmas tree at the center of the remembrance garden, includes pewter leaf ornaments engraved with the name of patients who have died. They are tied to the tree with purple ribbons, and after a year the leaves are presented to the families as a memorial.
Wind chimes of various sizes surround the garden, providing a polyphonic song from the angels that must rest in the trees here. One can feel the breath of life that flows from one generation to the next, tying all of us together.
That's one of the nicest things about the gardens -- the place appeals to all ages from children to seniors. Families can come here and everyone would have a good time. The statues include serious art as well as whimsical pieces that will delight the child in every heart. Don't miss "Eat More Beef" or "Fish Story."
There are pieces that will catch the eye of those who appreciate history. The gates at the entrance were built for Napoleon Bonaparte around 1810, and two gigantic painted teak horses were built for Queen Victoria's 1897 Jubilee.
A beautiful historic piece invites couples to sit and wish. It's a 100-plus year-old brass wishing swing from India, covered by a temple with green columns and topped by a golden dome.
From the swing you can hear the waterfalls at the koi pond, which is also home to statues of alligators, pelicans and the Loch Ness Monster (or a cousin).
An hour or two is enough time to tour the whole garden and feel refreshed and re-energized.
Those who want to make a family day or weekend trip can easily visit the gardens in the morning, have lunch at County Line Barbecue and then visit the Cowboy Hall and Western Heritage Museum in the afternoon. Add in the Oklahoma City Zoo and Omniplex Science Museum for a second day full of family fun.
All of these locations are easily accessible from Interstate 35/Interstate 44. Exit at NE 63 or Kelly and follow the signs, or check Mapquest for more detailed directions if you're unfamiliar with the area.
Please visit, and have fun!