Let’s all take a mental health break and look at some camellias.
Camellias (tsubaki, 椿) used to make me physically angry. They’re one of the only flowers that blooms in winter in Ishikawa, and my backyard in the Noto had a couple trees. I could be digging my car out of a goddamn blizzard or losing feeling in my hands hanging up my laundry in my sunroom* and there they were, all cheery and pink, sticking out of three feet of snow. RUDE.
Now that I live in Seattle and there’s no snow and all winter feels like early spring and the rain isn’t a perpetual torrential downpour (I’m sorry, Ishikawa, but your weather is awful), camellias actually make me happy.
The camellia bushes here grow wild and huge, and the Arboretum has at least ten varieties, most of which are Japanese. The lighting was particularly interesting that day.
I forgive you for mocking my pain, camellias. ♬凍った心溶かす〜。♬
One of my resolutions for this year was to focus on self care by going out into nature more, and I’ve been having a great time going to gardens and hiking with my friends and by myself. It’s a lot like being in Japan again, in a way, and if I want to walk around a garden and spend three hours photographing flowers and enjoying the good weather while listening to Tosca, that’s what I’m going to do!
The camellia grove is lovely, open after work, and totally free.
*That was the worst-insulated, most buggy, hardest-to-care-for apartment I have ever lived in, but I had a sunroom for my laundry/washer AND storage AND a veranda AND a small yard.