December 4, 2008 | Linda Maich, Visitor Services Assistant

Wonder enlarges the heart.
When you wonder,
you are drawn out of yourself.
      ~ John O’Donohue ~

Occasionally, someone will call Denver Botanic Gardens in autumn or winter and ask if there is anything to see at the Gardens during these seasons. My reply always includes an unequivocal yes; the Gardens are full of beauty throughout the year. To experience this magical time, simply walk into the Gardens with your sense of wonder intact.

It’s true, currently the Gardens are transforming in other ways; there has been an abundance of caterpillar tracks, excavators, hardhats, and   dump trucks convening here.  With the arrival of an underground parking lot, an updated irrigation system, a visitor center, and much more, there is a chaos that is the antithesis of a peaceful garden setting. Or is it?

The creative process is, in and of itself, a chaotic affair. If you have ever watched The Mystery of Picasso, a film showing the artist as he paints one of his many masterpieces, you observed how he wends his way through a thought process full of twists and turns, one idea giving way to the next. His painting takes energy, concentration, curiosity, and yes, chaos.

As all the construction projects progress at DBG, I keep in mind that all that frames the Gardens, including concrete and steel, has had the same legacy; from the chaos arises an even more spectacular setting that will bring years and years of pleasure to so many people.

Meanwhile, the gracefulness particular to this season takes shape through a delicate choreography, and nature continues her cyclical, imperfect journey. Recently, I saw a dragonfly clinging to leaves and branches near the Gates Montane Garden, its tattered, iridescent wings prismatic in the sunlight.  Elsewhere in the Gardens, the coralberries, pink as Jordan almonds, and the hot tamale-red pomes on the crabapples, remind me of the beads of an African necklace.  Sage crushed between my fingertips perfumes the day.  A little wonder works wonders.

Along with family and friends, may you enjoy the Gardens during these subtler seasons. May you all grow in wondrous ways.

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