duke gardens, i love you
because you are host to all sorts of lawn games, guitar strums, and general relaxation and revelry.
because you are a place where we can hang out as a family but still feel like we're spending time out in the world with other people, too.
because you have lots of flowering plants that make me stop and stare, trying to figure out how nature could be so astonishingly creative and so outright bizarre and so heart-crackingly beautiful all at one time.
because of your magnolia tree, the one the kiddos love to climb.
because you are the home of two of my beautiful, crystallized college memories, one of a sunny picnic with competitive piggyback rides and one of a late-night fete with loud declarations of truth.
because you smell good.
because you are where my aunt took me for photos when i was three years old, and one of those photos hangs in my mother's living room, the "shrine" to be joyfully bickered about among me and my siblings forever and always amen.
because it is free to spend time with you, and that means anyone can come see you, and that is an extraordinary gift to all us durham folks, to be sure.