Japanese Tea Gardens

One of our favorite little spots in San Antonio is the beautiful Japanese Tea Gardens.  Elliott and I visited the gardens three years ago when he was going through his initial Army training and I came to visit him for a few days.  We have fond memories from several years ago of sitting side by side on a little stone stairway eating olives as the shadows gathered after sunset.  Now, three years later, we brought our little baby back to enjoy the gardens as well.

Lena was fascinated (for a good 45 minutes at the least) by the pond full of magnificent koi.  I always loved the koi at the National Arboretum in D.C., but… folks, everything’s bigger in Texas.  These guys are huge.  A mom and his son were [illegally] tossing dog food kibble to the koi, causing feeding frenzies. 

Later Lena made friends with a massive gray koi.  He was about as long as she was and almost as wide around.  I think he thought her hand was just the right size to eat.

We wandered back into the gardens, pausing near the stone steps where Elliott and I ate our picnic three years ago.

After a bit of searching, we found this secluded spot for some reading and knitting.

I remember that visit to Texas like it was yesterday: our relationship was healing after a rough summer, I was sleeping on a blow-up mattress on the floor of Elliott’s friend’s girlfriend’s apartment (!), Elliott was struggling through 5am PT and no showers, and we wondered where on earth we were headed.  Together?  Maybe.  But we were anything but certain.

Could we have ever pictured this three years ago?  We’ve come through so much: a proposal and a wedding and a deployment and a pregnancy and a birth and an international move.  And here we are, in almost exactly the same spot, except with each other’s rings on our fingers as we snuggle this little beauty on our knees.  It hasn’t always been an easy three years, but I wouldn’t trade our sweet life together for anything.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, 
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 

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3 Responses to Japanese Tea Gardens

  1. Sarah November 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    I had cold chills reading this post. Isn’t is awesome to see how the Lord works in our lives?! He definitely knows the right plan for each of us. Love to you all!

  2. megarber November 3, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    Yes, it is amazing to reflect back on how our steps have been directed. We’ve often said, “Did you ever think. . .” and then fill in the blank–that we’d live here for over 20 years…that our children would be grown…etc. Looks like a beautiful place and, of course, these are more beautiful photos :). I visited the Japanese Gardens in Portland this past summer.

  3. beccagarber November 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Reflecting back is one of my favorite things to do, and I know the reflecting will only get more profound as the years go by. Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement, Sarah and Mom!

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