The Cloister Gardens

Note to self: it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

To get to the medieval monastery, the girls and I walked through the Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park. I bumped into my friend Dorothy in her floppy hat watering the flowers. She’s a gardener who used to be an editor. We chatted about coworkers. We chatted about Bette Midler, who was going to be honored by the park.

Then we chatted about the Art Students League. We both took watercolor classes there. But there are no watercolors as beautiful as flowers in a garden. If I painted them, they’d look too blue, too fake, too beautiful.

I asked Dorothy, “Where is the heather?” She was vague, “Over there.”

But she pointed out the phenomenal bright red poppies. “As big as a baby’s head!” I said. We marveled at the flowers and walked on.

We tried to lunch at the Leaf Cafe but there was a wedding reception in progress.

“I’m never getting married,” K. said. “Because I could ruin some kids’ lunch.” So we walked to the Cloisters and lunched there. It was a lovely day in the park.

It felt like summer had just descended us as we walked through the Heather Garden to the Cloisters.

Just that  morning I had been reading a study from a Twitter Friend, @uukady  that said, “Cultural activities are good for your health, Norwegian study finds.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110523201050.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=

“In fact, being involved in either receptive cultural activities (such as attending a theatre performance or viewing an art show) or creative culture activities (where participants themselves are active in the creative process) was found to be related not only to good health, but to satisfaction with life, and low levels of anxiety and depression,” the Norwegian study noted.

Visiting a museum or garden feels good. But the visit is also good for you.

Especially the journey through the garden.

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