Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tulip Tree

March 18

You know those corners of controlled nature around the parking lot of the mall? Everything is measured, tended, and planned. The heights are restricted and the colors coordinated. Well we pulled into the parking lot of our favorite (close enough to walk but here we are in the car again) mall. I look through my windshield and there is a row of tulip trees covered with delicate pink flowers. You may have noticed I am quite into the spring flowers right now. I particularly love tulip trees. They are one tree that bloomed in my home state that also seems to do well in my adopted home on the opposite side of the country. So part nostalgia and part just beauty. They have such exuberant flowers for a tree. Kind of like they are showing off. And the rest of the year they just blend into the background.

I get my little one out of her car seat and we head through the manicured bushes for a closer look at the trees. I'm half expecting a security guard to appear and remind us to stay on the designated walkway. Soon we have hopped over a small hedge and shuffled along a low decorative wall. We are now invisible to the parking lot. Large cypress cover us from the back. Because we are on a low wall we are face to face with the flowers on the tulip trees. Below is a busy road with plenty of shoppers rushing by. If they tried they might be able to see us through the greenery but I doubt anyone looks up here. I feel like we are in a secret hideout. I feel a little rebellious to be here and excited to be on an outside adventure in such an unlikely place.

My daughter and I examine several blossoms and she comments on the holly berries she seems to find everywhere we go. We look at the sky which is growing dark with clouds and decide to head inside. We step back through the greenery into the parking lot and I feel like we have reappeared onto the regular stage. For a moment we were hidden behind the scenery.

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