SHELTERED IN PLACE
Walking through Seattle’s Volunteer Park, I came upon the storied Conservatory. Made up of 3,426 glass panes fit into a wood and iron framework, this Victorian-style architectural gem was built in 1912, modeled after London’s Crystal Palace. It holds a myriad of exotic plants from orchids to cacti in their respective ecosystems. Usually one can peer through the windows and see flora. On a cold dreary day, nothing is more comforting than going inside its humid interior and drinking in the fragrance. Not so today. The luminous sky shows the Conservatory in stark relief. The spring flowers suggesting the life within but the Conservatory is shuttered in observance of Covid19 restrictions. Fully whited-out, it is now an eerie and foreboding presence. I assume the walls are whitewashed to protect the plants during this time of limited staffing. So it is probably a good thing. But for me, it was another reminder that nothing is normal now.