A Trip to the Garden, Week Eight in the No Longer New Abnormal


There’s nothing like a flower show in the middle of a cold winter to warm our souls.  That was my thinking as I embarked on the member preview of the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.  My plan was to get there early so I could get in and out and home for work.  I walked in the chilly weather to the subway where I got on the number 5 subway to Bedford Avenue.  However, it was the number 4 train that I needed, so I had to reroute, getting off at the Grand Concourse and then settling in for a 45-minute ride to the Garden via the Bx 19 bus.  This was an hour detour in total, getting me to the Garden with the throngs of people who also wanted to enjoy the tropical flowers.  


I made the decision to return via Metro North getting off at 42nd Street, but first I had to winnow my way through unwieldy Instagram photographers and flower gawkers.  Even when I politely said excuse me, as I wanted to get away from the heavily-clothed crowd and make my train back to the city, I was greeted by annoying responses.  They were irritated that I’d want to pass them, and had something to say to me.  


There were a few narrow openings, and I made my way past the hot house , thus able to escape in time for my train back to the city.  As gorgeous as the flowers are, I will return on an early weekday when there is less of a rush, and I can quietly enjoy the annual oasis.  


There was a time I would have been so hard on myself for getting on the wrong train, dealing with the crowds, and generally making mistakes.  I would have been judgmental of the cantankerous flower gawkers. I still have my moments, but I was not hard on myself. Nor was I angry with the unwanted commentary.   I simply learned for the next time.  And I enjoyed my bus ride, getting to see parts of the city I don’t normally see.  Age, mediation, and therapy have all been helpful in being kinder to myself and more accepting of others.  Though I spent less time with the flowers than I had planned, I received other unexpected gifts.  


Self-Care Tips:

  • Bring a flower home or go out to see flowers where you can.  Photos can also do the trick.  As we get through the rest of this winter, flowers do brighten the darker days.  Trader Joes has terrific prices on flowers.  You can gift or get amaryllis bulbs in wax online. Like at Tulip World.  
  • Do a kindness mediation.  Sharon Salzberg has wonderful Loving Kindness mediations.  10% Happier also has a terrific selection of kindness meditations.  Or find one online.  
  • Attend to your feet.  Sometimes a nice body or foot cream massaged into your feet can be a simple, caring act.