I’ve been away for many weeks, traveling on 3 continents. I am looking forward to sharing with you all the wonderful gardens I have seen.
Of course I had to come home sometime. Upon my arrival back in the USA I went through Customs at Logan International Airport in Boston, my hometown. When it was my turn the Custom Official listed the required questions to incoming residents “Where have you been? How long have you been away? What was the purpose of your visit?” Usually I give simple short answers but this time, still on a high from all the fabulous gardens I had seen and the fun I had had seeing them I answered with enthusiasm, “I was on a Garden Tour in Italy. We saw 20 gardens in 2 weeks!”
Upon hearing this, the placid, somewhat bored features of the Customs Official turned quizzical, then incredulous before he asked skeptically, “How do they pick the gardens, by whoever has the best backyard?”
I was rendered speechless, stunned that the gardens I had seen were being called “back yards”. I had indeed been out of the country for a long time. How could I give an answer to this question and educate this person who thought of gardens as “back yards” on the achievements of Italian Gardens from the Renaissance up to the 21st Century in the nano second I had to answer before the line behind me erupted? My mind swirled, but my subconscious came up with an answer, “By historical significance”, I replied.
Now it was his turn to be shocked and speechless. We looked at each other as if we were both from other planets, not the same city, and parted each other’s company without another word, but with a certain amount of disbelief and suspicion on each other’s part.
Sometimes reentry can be challenging.