I can think of a handful of people I've met throughout my life with whom I've had an immediate camaraderie - a closeness that feels strange and like it has been there forever even though we've known each other for only a few hours.
I felt that way when I met Leora. She's got an incredibly beautiful spirit, but there is this authenticity about her that made me feel safe. When I photographed her headshots this past winter, we conducted Mozart together in my studio and both sang along to Le Nozze di Figaro. It was a blast and it was one of those sessions that had me inspired for days afterward.
I've thought of Leora often since our session, and I was beyond delighted when she asked if I'd like to go to a rose garden with her. I am a huge lover of gardens and flowers, and so I jumped at the chance to check out this free public garden in the heart of Kansas City.
It did not disappoint!
The Loose Park Rose garden is a wonderful place to visit. With pathways and benches, it is a lovely place to explore leisurely and to get to walk and talk with a friend. The roses smell amazing, and there are some incredible hybrid varieties! I was pausing to take photos but not to write down the hybrids. Luckily for me, I can go back!
We chatted with several of the staff while there, talking everything from canning to deadheading to aphids. It was a blast getting to connect with people! That is one fantastic thing about having Leora with me. I am not as outgoing as she is. I might have missed out on these conversations if not for her friendly and awesome personality.
After we smelled the roses, we enjoyed an awesome Indian food lunch. And we ended up talking, and talking, and talking some more. I didn't want the day to end! It's amazing when a thread beyond shared interests pulls two people into conversation. We get to share something deeper than watching the same television shows or having shared political views. There is a basic understanding of the beauty of the world and the spirituality of art and nature and existence that kept Leora and I talking, and more than two weeks after our fun morning at the rose garden, I'm still thinking about our conversation and how grateful I am that God brings people into our lives in these ways.
I'm lucky that what I do puts me in touch with amazing people like Leora. I've made some really wonderful friends in Kansas City as a result of collaboration through photographs - and then through life!
And I'm sure I'll be back to the rose garden. You should go to Loose Park if you live in the KC area. The people there are passionate about what they do, and it is quite a luxury to appreciate the beauty of these delicate and short-lived miracles in such a volume as they have them there.
Happy Monday, everyone!