A Bit of Serendipity in Fort Worth

Horace Walpole

Horace Walpole

About 260 years ago, the word “serendipity” was coined by Horace Walpole. the 4th Earl of Oxford, and an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician. He based his new word on a Persian play The Three Princes of Serendip, which is an old name for Sri Lanka.  Walpole said that the play’s heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

Last Wednesday, Richard and I experienced this serendipity, this fortunate happenstance.  What started out as an excursion to the Fort Worth Water Gardens turned out to be a wondrous day of delight and surprises.

This was our first visit to the Fort Worth Water Gardens.  It will not be our last.  This public park elicits a cornucopia of emotions – wonder, scary (for me, not Richard), peacefulness, and appreciation for creativity – all within 4.3 acres next to the Fort Worth Convention Center. *

Richard in the loud and scary Active Pool.  He is fearless

Richard in the loud and scary Active Pool. He is fearless!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Peaceful Meditation Pool

Whimsical Aerating Pool

Whimsical Aerating Pool

Interspersing these water features were bold sculptures, treed and pleasant landscaping and creative concrete walkways and features. *

It was lunchtime when we were done exploring, so we headed for the nearby Sundance Square and its environs for their many restaurants.  We came across Del Frisco’s Grille, which seemed cool and comfortable.  Its menu offered a wide range of lunch possibilities.  On all counts, Del Frisco’s did not disappoint.DelFrisco

I devoured my cheeseburger (hold the cheese, please) and fries, and washed it down with a glass of chardonnay.

I was ready for a nap, but we decided to do a quick trip for the nearest Central Market for dinner pasta sauce fixings. And thus we encountered yet another pleasant surprise.

Looming over Fort Worth Central Market is the Marty Leonard Community Chapel. Richard, an architect, was excited about this iconic chapel designed by renowned architect Fay Jones.  We spent an hour in this exquisite find and had an opportunity to learn more about this special place from Charlie who had an office below the chapel.*

The entrance to Marty Leonard Chapel

The entrance to Marty Leonard Community Chapel

This interfaith chapel is part of the Lena Pope Home campus.  In 1930, Lena Hope started this sprawling campus for children in need as a tribute to her young son who died of diphtheria.  Marty Leonard is a long-time supporter and board member of the Lena Pope Home, and for her 50th birthday, her family and friends presented her with a rendering and partial funds for construction of this chapel.  The chapel was completed in 1990 and is a popular venue for weddings.

Eventually, we did get to the adjacent Central Market for dinner fixings.  We headed home via a congested, dusty and smoggy Hwy 35W that is perpetually under construction. There were no serendipity moments there!

Notwithstanding the home bound traffic, this was truly a day of serendipity and the kaleidoscope of discoveries continue to make me smile.

* I will devote future entries to photo essays of the Fort Worth Water Gardens and the Marty Leonard Chapel.

Gentle Souls

Maui 2010 February 052
Joys that delight you
Courage over secret fears
Hopes that sustain you
Beliefs you hold most dear

These a gentle soul can surmise in you
and intuits the right words and moments
to revive your weary soul
and embolden your spirit voice

This day and all tomorrows
may gentle souls grace your path
at their appointed times

Bird of Paradise at the Kula Botanical Garden, Maui, Hawaii, 2011