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Pretty prickly things

My lunch plans in DC today got rescheduled after I was already in the city, so I decided to make the best of things and stop by the national mall.

Oy. Warm day. Spring. A weekend. The same day as the way-too-late-in-the-year-this-year Cherry Blossom Festival and the warm weather had the national mall swimming with people, cars, scooters and bikes. Oy. Oy. Oy. Took me forever to find a parking spot, but I did, and I landed right by the U.S. Botanical Garden, so I made my life easy and popped into the garden. Lovely. Just lovely.

I’ve been there before, living in the DC area for most of my life. While it doesn’t take particularly long to walk through the Botanical Garden, and while the building is much smaller than other nearby museums, they do manage to pack quite a few awesome specimens in there per square foot.

Then, driving home, in the traffic (and, oh, there was quite a bit of traffic), in the heat … ugh, ugh, ugh. I arrived home so tired.

And in my exhaustion, I felt so incredibly grateful that decades past I abandoned the idea that I had to go into the city to have “a real job.” (My Very Young Self in my early and mid-20s thought otherwise and day after day, month after month, year after year I traveled the long, crammed road from Columbia to D.C. — often by car, plus metro plus all the walking in between. It wasn’t fun.)

Remembering how exhausted I was, day after day, coming home from the long and anxiety-filled drive home, I had so much gratitude today that commuting and driving in such traffic and conditions are rarely a part of my life anymore and that my trips to DC are mostly optional, social and cultural now. Yay, me!

Here are some cool cacti from today’s saunter through the U.S. Botanical Garden.

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