Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Beauty and Delight

daybreak in two parts

rosy dawn
streaks across sky –
clouds blush

morning sun
kisses clouds –
early frost bristles

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 December 2017
Photo found at; taken from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

Longwood’s Garden Benches | Photos

The WordPress Prompt for today is Brassy, not one of my favorite words, given its history of being used in negative or derogatory ways. Nonetheless, in the photo above you see a ‘brassy’ cat! Note that she’s gorgeous, beautiful and calm. Also content and independent-minded. With a coat the color of a gleaming brass tuba or trombone. Enough said.

It’s Friday, time for more photos of Longwood’s garden benches. D took most of them over the last few years. In the top photo above, we’re sitting with one of three Garden cats, looking back at the promenade that leads to the Conservatory and Café.

Sturdy, tasteful garden benches line the promenade,
with plenty of room for wheelchairs.

Here’s another angle on the promenade and its benches,
taken in warmer weather from beneath a huge copper beech.

The Meadow Garden is a favorite during late Spring, Summer and Fall.  A handful of benches and a few covered pavilions line the edges of the meadow. Here’s an example of a rustic bench, followed by what you might see if you’re sitting on this bench, looking back across the meadow. Notice the cool, shady garden benches at the edge of a wooded area.

Here’s another set of two.
In the first we have a well-behaved gentleman named D
sitting on one of those shaded benches,
along with a photo of the view from this bench in later Spring.

There’s nothing like the café after an hour or two of walking or hiking through the meadow. Below you’ll see outside seating followed by indoor seating in one of three café dining rooms with views of the gardens. You can also be seated in the upper-priced restaurant. We almost always choose the cheaper café with its healthy and unhealthy options. Something for everyone!

The Gardens have public restrooms in three strategic areas–the Visitor’s Center, the Café and Restaurant area, and the Conservatory. Even though you may not be in dire distress, I highly recommend a visit to the Conservatory restrooms. These are by far the most spectacular public restrooms I have ever visited. Imagine restrooms so beautiful you can’t resist taking a photo. And the garden benches? They’re behind the doors, at least one behind each door, plus lots of room, a beautiful sink and mirror. You’ll think you’re royalty!

Following are other indoor options for sitting and enjoying the fragrance, sound of water, an occasional musical concert from the side hall, or happy shrieks from children exploring the Children’s Garden. You might have to look closely to spot the seats.

One last promenade photo taken on my birthday, two years ago. We’d just spent the day exploring the meadow and Conservatory, and are on our way to the Visitor’s Center (far left corner) before heading home.

I hope your weekend brings unexpected beauty and delight!


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 June 2017
Photos taken by DAFraser, and other family members

early Spring splendor

early Spring splendor
fills chilled air with blossoms–
garden seat beckons


For one of my followers who wants to know where the garden seats are in Longwood Gardens. There are many–which I’m now collecting from my photo albums. This particular bench has always been one of my favorites–at the end of the flower walk, often in the shade, always off the beaten path.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 27 May 2017
Photo credit: DAFraser, March 2016 at Longwood Gardens
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Infuse

She sweeps with many-colored Brooms —


Here’s a charming poem from Emily Dickinson. It suits my mood for something that turns my eyes toward the heavens. Something spectacular that hints of glory and power beyond our human capacities. My personal response follows.

She sweeps with many-colored Brooms –
And leaves the Shreds behind –
Oh Housewife in the Evening West –
Come back, and dust the Pond!

You dropped a Purple Ravelling in –
You dropped an Amber thread –
And now you’ve littered all the East
With Duds of Emerald!

And still, she plies her spotted Brooms,
And still the Aprons fly,
Till Brooms fade softly into stars –
And then I come away –

c. 1861

Emily Dickinson Poems, Edited by Brenda Hillman
Shambhala Pocket Classics, Shambhala 1995

I first found this poem in my Emily Dickinson collection for young people. However, it’s also in my adult collection. So taking the role of an adult child, several possible responses come to mind.

  • If this Housewife is trying to clean things up, she isn’t very efficient. Just look at all the bits and pieces she’s dropping and leaving behind! Doesn’t she know how to sweep anything right? Look at that! She just left dust all over the Pond!
  • Whatever’s going on up there, it doesn’t have any rhyme or reason. The longer she sweeps, the more littered it gets. First this bit left behind, then that. All swept helter skelter across the face of the heavens. Maybe she doesn’t have good eyesight.
  • Also, why waste so many Aprons and colored Brooms? One of each would be more than enough. She isn’t very cost conscious, is she? All that effort and investment for just a few minutes of who knows what. A flash in the sky. That’s all.
  • Now look at that! It’s already getting dark out here. I don’t think she knows what she’s doing. This isn’t going to amount to a hill of beans in the morning. In fact, all her hard work will be for nothing in just a few seconds. Why bother?

Of course all that is nonsense. Emily isn’t writing about a sloppy housewife. She’s describing a majestic display in the heavens that just keeps traveling around the earth each minute of every sunset.

Even more amazing, the beauty being swept across the evening sky comes from the remains of the day. The ‘Duds.’ The ragged old clothes that are tired and worn out. Not sure they’ll live to see the next day. Coming near the end of their life, almost but not quite disappearing into darkness.

Such a spectacular, even wasteful show of beauty. Doesn’t this Housewife understand what’s going on down here? How dare She waste time with the dust and duds of this earth in a show of supposed glory? Doesn’t She know what really matters and will make a concrete difference?

I love the extravagance of this Housewifely Creator. Day in and day out. One magical sunrise and sunset after another. Especially sunsets that transform bits and pieces of throw-away detritus and fragile whisps of clouds, making them a Prelude to the starry night. All for our delight, awe and encouragement. We are not left to our own devices.

Psalm 8:3-4
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mere mortals, that you care for them?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 January 2017
Image found at

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