Another artist date yesterday afternoon! This time just one hour of walking, strolling really, through some of my favorite gardens. The sun was still high in the sky, but the thick trees and tall bushes diffused the light. There was an orchid exhibit in the conservatory, but I kept that for last because I wanted to walk as much as possible before the gardens closed. I have visited Selby Gardens many times over the years, but, as with Spanish Point, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed being there. Focusing (pun intended) on light and composition, I saw even the familiar tress and flowers in a new way.
Most visitors to the gardens are quiet and respectful of what is for me a contemplative space. Yesterday, there was a foursome – three women and a man – who definitely interrupted the peace of the place. One woman seemed familiar with the gardens and proceeded to instruct the others, sometimes reading the posted signs aloud in a loud voice. I tried to distance myself from them.
At one point, a cell phone rang and the “leader” of the foursome asked her group if they could/would Facetime with the caller. Now they gathered around the phone, shouting about everything they were seeing. I had wanted to linger near the bay as others were doing, but I didn’t want to be a part of this Facetime visit.
I continued on my way and found a more secluded spot on a walkway through the mangrove trees. I sat quietly by the bay trying not to let the incident spoil my visit. Lo and behold, the foursome found my spot! They were still on the call – at least 10 minutes later – waving the phone so that the caller could “visit” the gardens and the bay with them. I wanted to say something, but frankly, I was stunned into disbelieving silence. I waited until they walked on ahead. Thankfully, that was the last I saw of them.
Why was I so annoyed? Why did I feel as though they were “stealing” my peace, my garden experience? I’m sure they meant no harm. They were simply oblivious to anyone around them. I thought about times when I was part of a group that may have been too loud and insensitive to our surroundings. One of the benefits of solo travel and artist dates is that I can engage with my surroundings – people, flora, fauna – more directly with less need to interact with people who are accompanying me.
Oh, the sun is peeking through the clouds. The forecasted rain seems to be delayed until afternoon. Time for another artist date!