I am transitioning back home, where there is snow on the ground and a definite chill in the air! But as I do so, I am thinking especially of one wonderful afternoon wandering the gardens of Jardim Botanico Tropical, in the Belem area of Lisbon (connected to the Palace of Belem). Poorly reviewed in everything we read in the guidebooks and online, we took a chance on it anyway on our only drizzly, overcast day in Portugal. And it turned out to be one of my very favorite places we visited. Perhaps it was the slightly worn down buildings being overtaken by ivy, or maybe the peacocks everywhere showing off. And of course the tiles and the color and everything that was still in bloom. But mostly, perhaps, I loved it for the way that it encouraged slow wandering and peaceful reflection in the midst of a lively city. I found Lisbon to be full of such outdoor space, available to the public and full of so much beauty and interesting design. I'm coming home committed to finding more ways to do just that in my own community and my own day to day life. Making time to wander.
I hope you'll let me tell you just a little bit more about our trip to Portugal in the coming days. There is so much I want to share. But first, I want to hug my family one more time, celebrate a special eight year old's birthday, and tuck into home. (There might be some shoveling too. Oh!)