(Posted from Jacob’s Limp)

I have been inconsistent with posting on Jacob’s Limp. It is still new and I’m still figuring out exactly how to focus this blog. Though my lack of posting is due to a variety of reasons, my favorite reason is why I didn’t post on Friday.

On Friday, I took the day off and had a long date with my wife. My wife was off work at noon and so we went up to Sioux Falls for a date and some Christmas shopping.

While we were in Sioux Falls, my wife wanted to show me the Japanese Garden on the Big Sioux River. We had spent a bit too much time looking at a few gifts for the kids and so raced out to find the Japanese Garden my wife had enjoyed walking through back in October.

The park itself is well hidden. We had to drive through old neighborhoods with houses from a variety of eras in our history since the 1900’s. We soon found the larger park along the Big Sioux River where the garden was hidden along the shore. We slowly walked along the green grass and descended a hill side on our way to the gated garden.

We arrived right when the sun was going down upon the Big Sioux. The winter hours were until 4 and it was almost five. In the summer time, the Big Sioux had risen high onto the banks of the shoreline. Yet now it had receded along the sand. The river tended to rest high during the winter as well, but when we arrived, it was slowly freezing over, leaving bare rocks and sand along the shore.

The receded river also laid bare the opening we needed to sneak into the garden. Where the river usually lapped against the metal gates was now a nice large entry point into the otherwise gated and locked garden. I slowly walked down the rocky slope, which in the summer are covered in water but now, with everything else, was exposed and bare in the winter months. My wife followed, looking this way and that lest we be caught. I slowly stepped around the fence which would have been lapped by waves but now was free. I squatted down and took pictures of the sun setting over the Big Sioux.

I then turned to my wife and said “Well, we’ve already trespassed, we might as well enjoy the rest of it.” She gave me that smile/look that tells me she’s not sure of my logic but will test it out anyway.

We walked along the shore, along paths of stone laid down some decades earlier. Boulders placed intentionally along the path were laid next too traditional stone lanterns. With the trees now bare, my wife pointed out each one that had flowers on them when she came in October and what colors they were.

She showed me where there was a waterfall with a bridge crossing in front of it. The water would flow down the hill side, over the small cliff face, under the bridge to be collected in a pool near the river’s edge. We had come to the end of the path and followed it’s loop back around to the beginning.

The temperature was dropping down. We both had forgotten our coats in the car. We hurried back, along the paths of stone, past glowing bright lanterns, around the nonguarded fence and up the hill side to the larger park area where we stole across the green grass back to our car.

No great epiphanies happened. No real true reflections on the grandeur of things. Just a beautiful sunset. Just a beautiful garden. Just a beautiful time with my wife.

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