Nature Notes

Lingering in the Light

The Japanese Garden not only shined in the snow with this memory, but in the changing light of the day. This secluded, peaceful go to space surrounded by mature tree silhouettes calms and always comforts me like the warmth of my favorite wool blanket.

By Lee Anne Laskey

Oh, how I love that winter is a lingering season, don’t you, especially as the days grow longer and the sun stronger? The Arboretum is the ideal place to enjoy this gentle return of nurturing light. It is a positive place to celebrate new hope and the continued faith in the renewing cycle of life. I couldn’t help but revisit my favorite, frosty weather Arboretum photos from past years to share with you all this time. Each brings warm memories and anticipation for creating new ones often. I hope you can do the same and start this week! I never regret idle time here in this season especially and gently remind myself that “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”

Frosty treetops in the winter light

I purposely choose familiar paths to visit often, in all the seasons, so I can observe even the subtle changes to the landscape that feels like home. What garden space will you bundle up and enjoy the company of today? The Japanese Garden not only shined in the snow with this memory, but in the changing light of the day. This secluded, peaceful go to space surrounded by mature tree silhouettes calms and always comforts me like the warmth of my favorite wool blanket.

Quiet miracles of the Japanese Garden

I find that on the days I can truly linger longer, I bundle with even more essential layers, making me almost unrecognizable, but always quite cozy! It’s sometimes a comical sight, but worth it to be able to sit on the comfortable snowy benches everywhere to soak up some needed rays before heading indoors. 

Bench for bundled up sunbathing

Going “in” for me in every way is always a necessity during the days of the Winter solstice that lead me to the light of a New Year. The lovely indoor landscapes appeal to me even more when the temperature drops. The conservatory always provides the nurturing warmth & color I crave after an end of December snowshoe hike or refreshing winter stroll. It is my mini vacation, where I can sip tea with a friend, photograph blooms when the flakes are falling and simply breathe in all that is alive and growing.

 What an inviting backdrop for setting my intentions for 2022. One is always, without a doubt, how time in nature will be daily all year round. Sometimes I have to be very creative with my time, but my health and happiness always benefit from my regular dose of nature. Take some time to rest and renew here this week!

Eternal Spring in the Conservatory

Time in this well cared for sanctuary usually inspires me to dream up future gardens, whether for my own home, my children’s or for a friend. Like the familiar quote says,

”The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination.”

Don’t forget to stop in to visit with the Andersen Horticultural Library staff afterwards for inspiring conversation, beauty and an abundance of books for continued growth. I can’t help but be in awe each time I experience the Nakashima furniture collection, works of art for all of us to simply enjoy and appreciate as we daydream for a while. To me, it’s priceless in every sense, created with loving, talented hands and always feels alive again each time I run my fingers on the gorgeous grains and raw edges. Don’t miss the books displayed on the history and philosophy of this talented woodworker and his lasting legacy.

The gifts of winter gardens and Nakashima wood

Whether you visit the Arboretum during the day this week or get tickets for the light magic in the evenings like we did, enjoy the Arboretum joy and hopefulness that lingers everywhere and in everyone.

“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.”

Don’t forget to end the year here in kindness. It matters.  Share a smile, kind word, favorite winter garden scene, new snowy path, familiar sunny bench, cozy indoor space and continue to keep growing in the warmth of this welcoming Arboretum community.

Have a healthy, happy & hopeful New Year everyone!

Lee Ann Laskey is a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer.

1 comment on “Lingering in the Light

  1. Linda Rotschafer

    Leanne – you have such a beautiful gift for turning feelings & ideas into words and descriptive prose into thoughts & feelings about all the good things at the Arb. Thank you!

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