Published 11:33 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I am a garden enthusiast, I believe that I have always been one. Reflecting back through the years to early childhood I can say now with confidence that it was a garden’s sense of mystery and wonder that attracted me to them.

As a child it did not matter what type of garden; vegetable, flower, wildlife, formal or country, they all provided some special allure that fascinated my soul. As a young child I saw gardens as veritable playgrounds full of wonder and discovery. Full of unknown life forms, plant, animal and insect hidden amongst the foliage at every turn. Even now as an adult my heart still beats a little faster every time I visit a garden, the allure of a garden is still there.

Last week I visited one of my favorite gardens in Amelia, on a whim. I don’t get there often to wander through the beauty, in fact I had not visited this garden since last fall. The garden was in full bloom and just as beautiful as ever. Following my second pass around the garden admiring all the varied plantings and blooms, I sat for a spell under one of the wooden arbors covered in climbing vines that had a built in bench the shape of a horseshoe.

As I sat, I pondered on how wonderful it felt to have taken a temporary “detour” from the planned agenda for the day to visit this particular garden. My mind was also keen on reminding me that this unusual behavior was not of my nature, but I was OK with it and just bathed in the relaxing solitude and beauty of the place.

With one quick glance to the right of me my heart skipped a beat. Sitting there on the bench was a small rock, painted bright blue with the word “Wander” painted on it. Immediately, I was consumed with the sense of mystery, wonder and discovery all at the same time. How could I have not seen this rock as I passed this bench earlier? Not once but twice while wandering through the garden. More pressing was the question to myself, how did I not see it when I took a seat?

My mind quickly dismissed the question and my thoughts turned to the message painted on the rock “Wander” how prophetic I thought to myself. Sometimes it is good for the soul to just walk or move in a leisurely, casual or aimless way … to wander every now and again.

RVA Rocks was painted on the back of the rock. After some research I learned that RVA Rocks is the official community Rocks group for the Richmond Virginia Metro area and part of the #Kindness Rocks Project. A movement dedicated to spreading kindness by leaving rocks painted with positive inspirational messages for people to find and keep or leave for the next person.

Bravo! RVA Rocks. The world as a whole can use all the kindness it can get as far as I am concerned. You certainly brightened my day and provided a healthy dose of childhood wonder and excitement that I enjoyed immensely in the garden.

Deviate from the normal everyday routine when you have the opportunity and wander, it will do your soul good.

Dawn Conrad can be reached at conrad. gardenmuse@gmail. com or fb.me/Conrad. gardenmuse.