07 April 2009

feeling grateful


[Image: PaP67's Fotothing]

After the street tree bed gardening workshop at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (which I mentioned briefly in my last post and a related post), I had the rare opportunity to walk through the garden at night. Past the lily ponds, up the steps through the magnolia grove. The star magnolias in full bloom, the other pink magnolias (not sure of the variety) still partially tucked into their fuzzy outer petals, I take a deep breath to ingest their intoxicating scent. What could be better on a cool night such as this? To smell the messengers of an abundant spring, telling me warmer weather is just ahead.

Hanami, cherry blossom season, has just begun. A few weeks from now will be the Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri. But for now, I enjoy the early bloomers and the soon-to-emerge pink and white buds that will burst in the days to come.

I overhear some older garden members behind me talking about where the banana tree used to be, and some other nostalgia. I'm a member, too, but don't hold the memories that they do. It's all still novel to me. I could probably count on both hands and a couple of toes my visits to the garden. I know enough the layout of the place, but I'm saving space in my brain for more of it to leave a deeper impression.

Leaving the garden, passing Brooklyn Museum, I feel grateful. For the proximity I live to these sacred places. For the health I feel inside of me. For the solitude I'll enjoy this evening.

I look straight down Washington Avenue and there's the Chrysler Building, even more captivating than the Empire State Building, I think.

I enjoy the rest of my walk home. I savor the chill in the air. In a few months, I might wish for it. I might even summon it next week while in a hot, sweaty Bikram class.

I get home and call my sweetheart to let him know I'm alright. I excuse myself so that I can eat my chocolate mousse (course #6 for the day, pictured right). It's so rich and decadent, I can't finish it (wishing someone were here to share it with me!). The bitter cacao nibs stick in my teeth.

According to Organic Avenue, substances in chocolate that have been discussed in the scientific literature as pharmacologically significant, include: anandamide (bliss chemical), arginine (nature's Viagra), dopamine (neurotransmitter), epicatechins (antioxidants), histamine, magnesium, serotonin (anti-stress neurotransmitter), tryptophan (anti-depressant amino acid), phenylethylamine (PEA), polyphenols (antioxidants), tyramine, and salsolinol.

A neighbor is loudly playing some bad hip hop. It doesn't get me down; I think of what to counter it with - M. Ward or Bonnie 'Prince' Billy? Nina Simone it is.

I was going to save the mousse, but since I decided not to drink #7 (coconut mylk), I revisit it. I light a beeswax candle and sip on some calming tea. I finish the mousse as I write this, and almost regret it. I'm feeling full and it's late. I haven't been sleeping so well, and I don't want it to keep me up.

Time to step away from the stimulating nature of the computer. Bon Iver is lulling me into my relaxed self.

Going to read from the Yoga Sutras (Satchidinanda translation) and do some relaxing asanas.

More on the lovefast tomorrow, maybe with a little less detail.

Good night!

2 comments:

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

How was the class?

Liz said...

The class was great. I had already learned most of what was covered in the volunteer tree care permit class that I took a few months ago. But it was great to hear if from Susan Fields, manager of the GreenBridge Program. It was also nice to see so many people care about street trees and their communities.

Thanks for asking!