Thursday, April 14, 2011

Minnie Evan's Chapel (a travel post and a poem)

Travel Tip Thursday is a writing prompt that’s designed to offer up a tip on a place to travel.  Today’s tip is found near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, just a few miles east of Wilmington. 
Dogwoods and azaleas at Airlie 

One of my favorite places to visit, when I go home in the spring, is Airlie Gardens.  Last year, I wrote about the gardens that once belonged to the Pembroke Jones Estate (see link above).  When I lived in Wilmington, the gardens were owned by the Corbett family and were only open occasionally.  Now the county owns the gardens and they are open all the time for people to enjoy.  It’s well worth the five buck entrance fee to spend a few hours walking through the 67 acres of gardens. 

This year, I am featuring Minnie Evan’s Chapel.  Ms. Evans was the gatekeeper at the estate for many years and an artist in her own right.  The open air chapel was built by local artist to honor her.  I like the way there is a tree growing in the middle of the chapel, as if the chapel itself is the original garden.  Last year, I was at the garden during the Azalea Festival and it was so busy that I wasn’t able to get any good photos.  If you like bottle construction, see my post on the bottle house in Rhyolite, Nevada. 

I wrote these lines in my notebook as I pondered the tree inside of the chapel.

A dove nests in the bosom of the tree
planted in the middle of the chapel walls,
a mere shell open to the skies
but surrounded by beauty.
It is there, on the lee side of trouble

I find peace. 


  1. On the SI www I found this
    No slouch, was she.

  2. Sounds beautiful. I cannot imagine trying to keep up with all that gardening;)
    I did a post on Bottle Houses once as well! Creativity at it's most interesting!

  3. Sounds like a lovely place for a wander and some good thoughts.. and fine poetry.

  4. A beautiful place to find peace. It's on my list now...

  5. Have you ever been to Balboa gardens in San Diego? This post reminded me of them.

  6. Thanks for yet another tip. I may try to find a way to swing by there in June.


  7. Love your mini ode/poem. This sounds like a beautiful place, the kind of place Lana and I would love

  8. Vince, yes, nice painting

    Dawn, there is a whole staff to take care of it--with that kind of staff, I could have a nice garden too.

    Hilary, a nice walk, especially in the spring when the azaleas and dogwoods and tulips are all in bloom

    Lynn, I hope you enjoy your trip!

    Ed, I don't think so, unless it was near the zoo. My only time in SD was in January! (but the weather was nice)

    Randall, it may be a bit south for you, but there is a lot to see around Wilmington

    Charles, Thanks, the lake scenes are not too different than what you'd get in Louisana

  9. Oh, I would be in HEAVEN in those gardens. The chapel is lovely, as is your poem. ...I really wish Spring would hurry up and arrive in Chicago...

  10. The zoo is part of Balboa park which comprises something like 15000 acres of gardens, museums and yes, the zoo.

  11. We have a Botanical Gardens park here in Alabama that is stunning this time of year.
    I'll have to put Airle on my of places to see.
    Nice poem.

  12. on the lee side of trouble...great line...i like your poetry...a beautiful place...would love to walk it...

  13. The lee side--- I Love the sense of Protection of the symbol of the HS and Peace!


  14. An amazing structure with all these glas bottles. beautiful and the litlle poem is gorgeous as well.

  15. It is really too bad that we have never gone to Airlie. I will have to remedy that. Minnie Evans paintings were exhibited at our art museum some years back, and they fascinate me. I love that chapel.

  16. It is always good to find our places that give us peace...a lovely poem Sage, and what wonderful places you have discovered, and are sharing for us all...hope your weekend is just as lovely as these more poetry!

  17. It is with amazing foresight that you made some notes right there while you were "in the moment", Sage. You'll always savor those good times!

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