Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Which way out?

I had finished my interview with Angela Johnson, the artist who has sculpted a breathtaking series of pieces representing Christ and his life.
We were at Thanksgiving Point deep into the gardens when I realized she needed to stay to see the last sculpture installed and I needed to go back to my car which was up the hill and around the bend.
We had driven down in a little electric golf cart because it was kind of a long ways.
I looked at Angela and asked her if she wanted me to walk back so she could stay.
"Oh, no!" she said, "You take the cart. It's fine."
Hmm. I looked at the vehicle sitting there all innocently on the cobblestones.
I'd never driven one but how hard can it be? Old men and young boys drive them around golf courses all the time.
I got in.
Angela showed me how to put it in reverse and forward and told me just to push the pedal down all the way to make it go.
I backed up and circled.
Not so difficult. I took off, thinking how pleasant the day was.
That's when I noticed I hadn't paid a lot of attention as to how we got to the sculpture garden.
More importantly, I hadn't paid any attention to how I would get back out on my own.
I started around the flower beds — of which there are a lot! — and headed toward the hedge.
Can't go through a hedge.
I looked for an escape route. There was a sort of gate with a post in the middle but it didn't look wide enough for my cart.
I tooled around in a circle hoping to figure this out before Angela noticed my plight. I wanted to continue to look cool.
There was a pathway but it had little barriers on the side that prevented my driving onto the path.
I finally decided to take a chance on the gate and luckily, me and the cart squeezed through.
Home free?
Not quite.
Now I was rocking along but I didn't know which way to go. I headed west until I came to a bridge that said "No golf carts!" I headed east until the path became narrow and winding, obviously not the right way. There were more "No golf carts!" signs.
I headed north across the lawn raising the eyebrows of a few gardeners along my way.
I knew if I kept going toward the clubhouse I might luck out so that became my plan.
I went all around, ending up at the waterfull and nearly knocking down a family out enjoying the cool morning.
I saw most of the gardens and sailed along for what might have been a fun ride if I hadn't been so worried about finding my way out without undue embarrassment.
Eventually I made it to the top of the hill and to the clubhouse terrace but on most of the ride I was thinking "So this is what they mean when they talk about being led down the garden path."
You can get in but you can't get out.

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