Tea House in Winter

teahousewinter

Teahouse in Winter

Pam, Alex, and I make more visits to Ogden Gardens than any other park. Located close to our home, the site contains four acres of botanical displays that become lush during the spring and summer months; as well, it possesses a wide variety of trees with a vibrant array of foliage in fall. A lovely gazebo sits at the center of the park and often serves as the setting for weddings on weekends during warmer weather.

In addition, one corner of the area has been filled with a Japanese garden—complete with short trails, a stream, a bridge over a koi pond, and a replica of an authentic tea house. During much of the year this section seems the most inviting and comforting spot in the park. The brilliant flowers and the sound of flowing water in the stream, accompanied by the calls of numerous birds, seem serene, as the vivid exotic fish decorating the pond provide a delightful diversion from the everyday events outside this landscaped Eden.

However, I like to return in winter as well. Despite the muted imagery of bare underbrush and empty tree limbs or the cold of the frozen pond, the scene continually creates for me a sense of calm and relaxation. Indeed, in January one can yet detect the brightly colored but motionless koi under the ice of the pond, and the structure of the tea house, seen in the photo above, appears graceful even when showing wear in the harshest conditions.

Though the shelter may be surrounded by skeletal branches and sometimes covered by a thin layer of ice or snow in a wintry mist or under a layer of morning ground fog, I find the little refuge that provides protective shade on hot summer days still exhibits a touch of elegance and offers a bit of tranquility in winter.

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