Monday, June 9, 2008

Gardens of Delight

Saturday was another girl's day out, that my friend Carol and I have been doing recently in reaction to our discovery that our friendship was slipping away through neglect. (Terrible feeling, that. On the plus side, we noticed it before it became unchangeable, and have been putting much effort into resuscitating the damn thing before it dies on us.)

I made the suggestion that we go to the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk. For one, I've never been there. Second of all, it's something that Thomas is - typical man - completely uninterested in. That's been one of the real tricks to this "thingie". We have to find something to do that we both want to do that the husband types don't want to do... If, for instance, I had suggested that she and I go see Kung Fu Panda, Thomas would have been somewhat miffy and hurt that I didn't want to see it with him. I'm still trying to decide if I can suggest we go see Mama Mia together or not. Thomas might actually want to see that.

It was... a bit warm.

Like, triple digits warm.

So, now I'm going to talk about something weird.

It didn't bother me all that much. The heat, I mean. It was hot, yes, but it didn't feel all that humid to me - at least I could breathe and not feel like I was trying to do it through a hot, wet cotton blanket. I was sweating - and that rather profusely - but it didn't... bother me. I brought a water bottle with me, and drained it twice, plus had a bottle of tea. I remembered to get sun screen (and amazingly enough, I even USED it!) but I did get a little burned anyway. Not too bad, and I put aloe on it as soon as I got home. I even remembered to wear a hat.

I usually hate hot. I hate being out in it. I hate the feeling that the soles of my shoes are melting, and that shimmery weirdness that hovers over blacktop. I hate squinting into the sun, or walking far at all.

Except that I didn't. I kept expecting to hate it, to wish I'd suggested anything else in the world. To be tired and miserable. Except that I wasn't. I'm not sure I would have described the weather as "nice", but it really wasn't that bad. My energy didn't flag too much - and I even climbed up two flights of stairs to look out from the observation gazebo.

We probably walked a good two to three miles or more - I'm not sure exactly, and Carol has a bum knee right now that was making things a little difficult for her.

It was all very pretty and green, even if the sun was baking the flowers right off their stems. There was a lot more to the gardens that I would have liked to have seen... anything called a Mystical Forest seems like it would be fun. And the butterfly maze. There's twelve miles of paths at the Gardens, there was no way we could have covered all of it in a single day, even if we'd had more time. But Carol's still breastfeeding her son, so she's got limited amounts of time that she can spend away from him. I'll definitely have to go back, though.

Saturday, I loved my energy. I loved my legs, which carried me around the day and didn't complain. I loved being able to climb up the observation dome without gasping for breath, and I loved being able to trot down the stairs without clinging desperately to the rail. I loved that, when we left, I was feeling like I could have done more and seen more, rather than being grateful to be climbing back into the car.

I've still got it going on! I'm happier with myself and my lifestyle change than I was last week. I feel good about what I've accomplished, and a little less afraid of how much further I still have to go.

2 comments:

Manuela said...

What an interesting thing to realize! I can't take too much heat or humidity EVER (it's been awful here thanks to Mexico and some nasty hot air they're sending our way!)

Sounds like you had a beautiful day and next time you go you'll have to take more pics--you know by now that I'm a gardening fanatic.

Cammy said...

What a fantastic day!

I think you helped me figure out what's different so far this summer! Yes, it's hot, but like you, I can breathe! I don't have that smothered feeling I've had in past years.

Your happiness makes me happy, so thanks for sharing it!