|Sandra Herbst is Public Relations Assistant.|
Let me start by saying I was never a nature person. I went camping when I was younger, but to some people, having air conditioning and a TV in your camper doesn’t count.
My appreciation of nature first began when I started taking my lunchtime walks around the Garden grounds last spring. I started walking as a way to get back into shape—we all want to fit into our teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikini, right?
My route begins at the Watson Education Building, goes up Magnolia Way and past the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, then down Azalea Way to the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden where I reverse course to return to the Watson Building. For me it takes about 45 minutes; for some of the joggers from Fordham University I see frequently, I’m sure less. These walks have become significant to me. They have become my peace, my happiness, and my way to de-stress during the 9-to-5 work week.
These walks have also made me love and appreciate the Garden for all of its natural beauty and structure. Seeing the cherry trees bloom in spring; the lush colors of green during the summer; and the rich reds, pinks, and oranges of the Rose Garden in the early fall always makes me smile. My eyes can never turn away from the green tree line against the bright, blue sky. This spring, I even started to count the number of bird nests I saw. There were so many, and of course, I came up with a different number each time.
I can remember seeing Boyfriend and Girlfriend for the first time this year. Boyfriend and Girlfriend are the names I gave two ducks, one male, one female, that I saw all the time during my walks last year. They were always together in the tiny stream on Azalea Way near the Forest entrance. I saw them for the first time this spring in the Reflecting Pool while walking with a co-worker, and I blurted out “There’s Boyfriend and Girlfriend!” Of course, she had no idea what I was talking about, but I knew, and I was so excited to see them together again.
I still wouldn’t call myself a full-blown nature lover or anything. But I sure have come to appreciate the comfort, beauty, and serenity the Garden and nature offers.