Surprised by Summer #sol22 #summersusan

Surprised by Summer #sol22

Driving back to our summer rental from Narragansett several weeks ago, we veered off the road to check the birthplace of a famous portrait artist from the turn of the century. We hadn’t planned on stopping at his homestead, just driving through the centuries-old town and perhaps taking a walk with the dogs.

We were casually chatting about our next steps, when my husband noticed cars parked alongside the road and people with cameras peering at …. something. “Do you want to stop?” “What do you think it might be?” and then, I realized what it was.

Deep in the place where I store my background knowledge, I remembered seeing these magical things before. This, however, was so out of place, so foreign to them that I thought I must be mistaken. I was drawn to confirm, to view closer. The gift of vacation summer gave us the leisure to turn around to look deeply as these other passerbys were looking.

There is what I saw… a profusion of pale pink lotus flowers in various stages of bloom springing up in what could only be barely described as a pond, more a small ditch. No other landscaping to speak of, no special buildings, barely off the road, dozens and dozens of lotus with dozens of people admiring them.

How? and especially Why? So many times, we have pulled off the road or stopped on a walk to admire or even marvel at something that surprised us. So many times, we have been delighted by a surprise of summer. This was no exception.

So… ever curious. How did this come about? Two men, perhaps brothers, decided to build a condominium complex in North Kingston, RI, sometime in the early 1980’s. They hired a landscaper that got in his mind that this roadside ditch would be perfect place for lotus. The soil, the continued mud, whatever he saw, he was correct. These lotus flower has thrived and bloomed annually since 1982 or so, this amazing summer spectacle putting forth it’s dazzling display for the fortieth time! And we just happened to be driving by one sunny day during the two weeks or so that this is present.

I watched the biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward last week, they had a sign on their bedroom door for decades with a quote from the movie, The Color of Money, Luck is an art. I think about that as I remember those lotus flowers on that sunny summer afternoon. We were lucky to come across those flowers. We were open to what we might find with no expectations of what that might be. So when we found lotus flowers, it was a delight.

I hope I can keep some of that unhurried, unanticipated, openness as I move into another season. Being open to luck and all the possibilities.


2 thoughts on “Surprised by Summer #sol22 #summersusan

  1. “summer gave us the leisure” — without that leisure, as you say, you wouldn’t have stopped. It’s that leisure, that slower pace, that I wish we could capture and sprinkle throughout the school year. It’s that state of slow that offers the opportunities to be curious, notice and learn. Beautiful slice and I’m so glad you soaked up the lotus flowers and the story behind them.

  2. “The gift of vacation summer gave us the leisure to turn around”

    Truer words have never been spoken. That gift we sometimes take for granted is so important to all educators. That’s a pretty cool find. I’m wondering what the next one will be? 🙂

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