I can’t believe I lived in Baltimore for 8 years before I stumbled upon Sherwood Gardens. I had heard of it, but never realized the full extent of the grounds and the plantings. Honestly, I thought it was a median strip across from the Hopkins campus and therefore never made the effort. I’m not sure what prompted my visit last April, but if felt magical. Situated in the Guilford neighborhood, amongst large house and tree-lined streets, it was a part of a large estate donated to the city. It felt like I walked into a medieval fairy tale, complete with someone playing the flute. Seriously – someone was actually playing classic flute music. Like the Pied Piper. And children ran around him with hula hoops. Lovers and friends picnicking and painting on blankets in the grass. I couldn’t make this up. Reality is so much more magical than fiction. Have you seen the movie The 10th Kingdom? I felt like I was in Kissing Town.
I couldn’t get over the swaths of color. They exploded my senses and filled my camera lens. The only other place I’ve had this precise feeling was along the banks of the Rio Darro, below the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Do you suppose there are places in the world that are closer to another realm? Where the veil between worlds is thinner and seeps along the edges of time and space, giving us that feeling that our body is not quite firmly planted in this earth, but is touching some other place or time? Or is it just fate that this day, this color, these people, this music, those flowers, have all come together just right? How do we best live these moments? I try so hard to hold onto the feeling of wonderment that perhaps I miss more of the magic that exists. At these moments I want to tell everyone and no one at the same time, because it is so sacred, so beautiful that it must be shared and yet it must be kept close to the heart, because how could anyone else ever really understand how the moment feels….
And if you want to know what Kissing Town sounds like… see below.