In the last few weeks, we’ve had fun making quick trips to several cities where we witnessed the arrival of spring. In many parts of the country, we’ve given spring a hero’s welcome after a very long and cold winter.
In urban environments, we like to think that nature is under our control. Amidst our high rise buildings and miles of thoroughfares, we design spaces to contain nature–in window boxes, small gardens, and parks. This past weekend we were back in New York City for a quick visit with family. We took my sister-in-law’s advice and visited the West Side Community Garden. In this tiny urban space sandwiched between high rises, over 12,000 tulips were in bloom.
The beautiful seems right by force of beauty and the feeble wrong because of weakness.–Elizabeth Barrett Browning
We spent a wonderful hour wandering through the gardens, along with dozens of children and their teachers. The kids were working on an assignment to write a poem about the flowers.
This delicate and unusual tulip caught my eye.
On another trip to Chicago, heavy rains and cool weather made me think that spring hadn’t arrived yet. But flowers bloomed along Michigan Avenue.
Water is the driving force of all nature.–Leonardo da Vinci
Back home in Grand Rapids, we’ve had to be patient, while spring advances and retreats. Last week, in Rosa Parks Circle, the sun came out for a few hours, enough time for a couple to sip coffee in front of Bigby’s.
Our patience will achieve more than our force.–Edmund Burke
In these small urban spaces, nature seems to explode into a riot of vibrant color, a joyful celebration of the season. My friends who live in rural places disagree. They love nature on a grand scale. They think the city is stifling because green spaces are so limited and nature is nearly non-existent. But I disagree. What do you think? Can nature-lovers be happy in the city? Is there enough “nature” in the city for you or do you prefer the country?
To see more interpretations of this week’s forces of nature theme, click here.
Thanks as always for your thoughts and have a wonderful week!