Funny how life just works out sometimes,” says my son as we walk away from an adventure nearly had.
First let me say that I am not a morning person. It took every last ounce of self-discipline to crawl out of my cozy bed and get two kids ready to go out before noon on a summer day, let alone before sunrise. For the sake of golden morning light and a Japanese garden, we got up and at ’em making this day happen!
Let’s take it back a moment. The Southeast Botanical Gardens closed down back in 2010. I can still recall the day we got together with neighbors and loaded up a van full of garden goers only to find the entrance roped off upon arrival!!!
It was a sad day that we had long looked forward to. Over our 6 years stationed here, I’ve watched many friends pass through Okinawa and never get to experience this once amazing garden. I have only seen it in pictures found online and in old local island magazines.
Recently we discovered the garden had its re-birth under new ownership. So Sunday evening we drove out there to check the new hours of operation and price of admission. The front desk clerk said “6:30am-10:00pm”.
Naturally, I didn’t actually read the advertisement that clearly states those early bird hours are weekend only!
After chugging down a coffee, packing my gear, stuffing extra breakfast bars in the largest available pockets, loading the kids in the car and running back into the house twice for stuff we probably wouldn’t even need… we were officially on our way.
Marvelous anticipation grew until the moment we pulled into an empty parking lot, practically skipped up to the empty counter where we were gently informed that the garden would remain empty until 9:00 am because it’s a weekday. The three gate guards just smiled at the disappointed look on our faces and said “So sorry, so sorry” while bowing repeatedly.
As we made our way back to the car, the kids spot a Banana Spider in the corner of an overhead fence that reminds us of a chapter from Charlotte’s Web. (You know the part of the book
(or movie) where people start noticing how miraculous a spiders web really is … of course it was all about Wilbur being “Some Pig”, but we all know Charlotte is the star!)
Maybe the morning was not lost after all. Not if I could get a shot of this gateway spider, with its golden orb web side lit by a beautiful ray of early sunshine.
Alas, my LCD screen is black and OH NO!!! I realize a critical piece of equipment is sitting in the charger … on the counter top … at home! My feet scraped the concrete with disappointment as we found our way back to the car.
Then something dawned on me, and I said “Ya know what kids? Maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t pay to get in, let’s just come back tonight for sunset” to which my son replies, “Ya know Mom? It’s funny how life just works out sometimes.”