My most recent trek to Washington State was no different than the rest in that I made my quarterly pilgrimage to Kubota Gardens. I had remembered from visits in winter’s past that Kubota would have its own ornamentation. Raindrops would often glisten on bare branches and the park itself would be silent save for an occasional adventurous photographer.
Usually, Kubota is a picture of serenity in the winter and to my mind not harsh in the slightest. This trip was different. Whether this was because of the distress I brought with me on my visit or the men who were working on trimming branches of trees that posed a potential risk with chainsaws I am not certain. Two hours before I discovered my grandfather was going to need hospice care.
My emotions swirled and churned and flooded over. Kubota reflected this in many ways. It had snowed the day before I had arrived and the snow had melted causing the ground to be sodden and the waterways to be swollen to the point of bursting. The pumps that would have allowed for the man designed waterfalls to run their course were shut off. Presumably, this was to keep Kubota from flooding worse than it already had.
Though the stream that runs through Kubota threatened, most of the garden stood unscathed from the thawing. The grand exception to this was the stand of cedars which had always reminded me of a natural vaulted cathedral. This winter visit, the cathedral held a flooded floor.
I trudged along the paths and emotionally I could not take much more. My emotional ground was saturated. Fortunately, there was no additional drama on my trip. It did leave me feeling sympathetic for the ground. While I walked, the plants and shimmering drops offered their solace. In some ways, I suppose they served as surrogate tears before I had to go to my next appointment for work.
One thing that did hold fast, was that Kubota still stood as a sanctuary for me even during very tough times. And if not rejuvenated, Kubota certainly helped me hold fast in the face of an emotional flood.