Beth and I had been anticipating yesterday's play date for many weeks. We crossed our fingers to cramping with hope that the weather would cooperate. And cooperate it did, by providing us with an Indian summer day that included a high in the 70s, gentle breezes full of floating leaves, and not one blemish to the impeccably blue sky.
Our adventure was off to a sweet start with lunch at Take the Cake in Northside. I must confess to having quiche envy when Beth's lunch was served, but the chocolate cupcake that I ordered for dessert more than made up for my remorse. I look forward to getting back there soon.
After lunch, we decided to check out Fabricate, a funkity shop with consigned handmade creations. Thump-thump-thump. That's where I fell in love, love, love with Moon Unit (in the photo above). His tag says, "Moon Unit loves to dance! He often thinks things are funny when they're really not but he's so cute no one really minds." Moon Unit is also unspeakably soft. I would wear him if I could. As a collector of all things quirky and comforting, I couldn't stand the idea of leaving him behind. I might need to go back and fetch him a friend, though ... after fortifying myself with a cupcake, of course.
The lighthearted start to our outing was in stark contrast to the main purpose, which was a photo shoot at Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum. This would be my first visit to this Cincinnati landmark that is so rich in history. I was very glad that Beth was driving, because the magnitude of the place, in terms of size, beauty and overall impact, was overwhelming to me at first. The monuments were incredibly grand. They seemed to compete with each other in terms of extravagance. The seasonal slant of sunlight upon them was breathtaking and there was still enough autumn color available to cast a warm background to the cold stone.
Beth would drive and instinctively pick the perfect locations to pull over. We would essentially flee the car each time, beckoned "over here!" from various directions. It's a miracle that we didn't get permanently separated and completely lost along the way. Despite our exuberance, we moved through the headstones and monuments with care. This wasn't a park meant for romping. People and memories were deeply at rest here. Although I wondered if it might before we got there, it never felt creepy or sad to me. Many of those buried had lived what we'd consider abbreviated lives. But I couldn't help but marvel at how beautifully they were honored, even celebrated. I wanted so much to capture the essense of that in my photos.
See what you think ...