The Enabling Garden in Altoona was started in 2002. Its purpose is to provide an area that illustrates gardening for physically impaired people. By using design concepts such as raised beds and vertical wall gardens, visitors can learn how gardens can be adapted for any age or ability. It is a great example of horticultural therapy and it is a cooperative garden. What better place for a Little Free Library?
The whole afternoon was a collaborative effort - between Maya and Stef and me and Sandie, a garden volunteer who built the library, and Melissa from the Chamber of Commerce and the women from Sterling Drug & Healing Touch Gift who brought along several local authors to share their books and the local children who came to create garden tiles and listen to poetry and hear about our wild adventure.
The garden is an absolutely beautiful location for the newest library on our route. I can already tell it will be lovingly cared for and used often. I could have stayed in that garden forever.
How Starbuck's - though gifting us with good strong wi-fi - felt like an assault to the senses. The overloud music, the trio of machines going off, the bell of the door. Remembering the phrase "Highly Sensitive Person." Going outside for the few blissful minutes of ambient traffic noise before a pair of friends arrived for their once-weekly date. The chatting, piercing and unignorable, that ensued. How even earplugs didn't help. Realizing that despite this exercise on the road of writing poetry out in the open, my default is always quiet, quiet, quiet.
Altoona, IA and the perfect solution for a person needing this. The Enabling Garden, filling with nestly places to think and ponder and muse and introspect. A collection of plants my father would have loved. Gnome houses complete with tiny wheelbarrows and porch lanterns. Birdhouses too numerous to count. A winding path and a pond and benches and trellises and a little mailbox for the garden stewards. And now, a Little Free Library. How this may have taken the cake of locations.
The sweet and easy morning that followed. Kids twittering about the picnic tables. Writing poems about horses. Writing a poem about the word "the." Surprising her with our seriousness with "sassafras." How I am beginning to see some patterns emerging. A word meant to stump comes back like a sting. And how sometimes, I worry that this feels like a gimmick even though it most certainly is not. But the on-the-spot of on-the-spot poetry. The eyes on us. The pressure of a line forming. The difference between what we carry about poetry.
Adventureland Racetrack and Casino. A campground adjacent. Iowa, briefly, flattening out. Barbecue at Jethro & Jake's. The ride to see the Easter Island head. A monotone suburban neighborhood. The astonishing amount of new construction. A town that plans for pedestrians and cyclists. IPAs at the Brewhouse. The makings of dinner from the Hy-Vee - marinated olives, Manchego & crackers, avocado and leftover bagels, pineapple, pudding parfait. Sleeping in Maude again, and waking to birdsong and cool air and overcast skies. Wondering if maybe, maybe it will rain.