Today Ron and I visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
It’s September, but the garden is still vibrant with color and life. Butterflies on a quest for nectar dart between sunset-orange lantana blooms. Bees collect pollen from pink anemone flowers. Don’t the anemones look a lot like dogwood?
The garden makes me think about my Grandma Amy. Grandma Amy loved bugs and birds and flowers of all kinds. When I was little, she used to take me on nature walks in the woods. We examined birch twigs that smelled like root beer, searched for Jack in the Pulpits, and watched a squirrels scamper up trees with acorns in their mouth.
Grandma died over a decade ago. But I can still hear her usually gruff voice sweetening an octave to chirp out the call of a chickadee, her tongue visible through the gap between her two front teeth.
Grandma was also one of very few people who really recognized the outstanding and superior beauty of Fred, the blue-bellied lizard I kept in my bedroom when I was ten. “Oh, he’s glorious,” she said, admiring Fred’s iridescent stomach.
I thought about Grandma as I spied a green lizard. He would have fit nicely in the palm of my hand if I could have caught him. But the lizard would have scampered up a red variegated leaf, paused briefly to give me the eye, then ran off to do whatever it is that lizards do.
Grandma would have really liked it here.