The name for the city of Glasgow came from the Gaelic word ‘Glaschu’ or ‘dear green place.’ Glasgow has over 90 formal gardens and parks. As I have been in Glasgow the past two months, I smile to find that I am growing a familiar fondness for this dear green place.
I have long had a tender attraction towards parks and wooded areas where I can hear the rush of the wind and the bird songs of the seasons, and I have always been in awe when I see the flow of rivers. So when I went on a walk this Sunday afternoon after church, I was filled with delight as I discovered a new path alongside the river Clyde.
The smell of rain was in the air, as it always is here, and the path was covered in moss. Several trails rambled along the bank, weaving amongst themselves. This was a pleasant change from the efficient, straight cut city sidewalks. I had walked above these trails many times on the overhead car bridge, and I had often looked down at the swelling river. Standing next to the river today, with the full autumn colors filling the air with delicious smells, I saw the river more intimately and recalled the many times I have played in rivers and creeks with my brothers and sisters.
As I walked down one path, I cast my eyes up the bank and saw a young woman lying on the trunk of fallen tree. She looked most content. She was reading a book and fully enjoying being outside in her personal dear green place. That made me happy, as it often does when I see people enjoying themselves outside. Wherever I live, I try to find nice places outside where I can enjoy myself and perhaps read a book, and it is quite a pleasant adventure to find new places!
Another place that I frequent is the Glasgow Botanical Gardens. It has an extensive trail network, beautiful flower beds, and a gorgeous series of green houses. The main green house is an impressive triumph of glass geometry. Inside is a pair of side chambers that showcase various climate habitats. These precede a short hall that opens into an impressive theater of banana trees, marble statues, and bubbling fountains.
I am particularly stuck by this statue. The accompanying inscription reads as follows:
Giovanni Cinicelli (1832-1883)
Ruth is traditionally said to be an ancestor of Christ. She appears in the Bible as a modest and virtuous figure and, as such, was a role model for girls. Here she holds wheat-sheaves, which refer to her work harvesting corn in the fields of Boaz, her future husband.
The Milanese sculptor Ciniselli worked in Rome. He specialised in portraits and biblical and mythological figures.
Given by the family of Leonard Gow, 1927 Glasgow Museums (S71)
As I continue my exploration of the city, I hope to discover many of these treasured parks and create a native’s love of this dear green place.