Finding Stillness In The Chaos of Moving

The last month has been a whirlwind. We bought a house in the charming, little known neighborhood of Fairlawn (SE DC) and gutted the place. We moved out of our rental in Hill East only to find out our renovation project was delayed. In three weeks, we moved from Airbnb to Airbnb while juggling demanding jobs, shepherding a little one, and trying to still be good citizens of the world. I say all of this not to beg for sympathy, but to say we needed a place of stillness during the chaos.

Lucky for us, we live in a city that offers places of refuge. Armed with the latest Ergo, Addy and I explored a few quiet places around DC- Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and Artechouse.


I suspect the gardens are more colorful in the spring/summer, but the up side for us was we had the entire place to ourselves. Across the river and north of Capitol Hill East, the drive to the gardens invites you to experience new neighborhoods. Once there, you’ll find a small path to an equally tiny visitors center. Although small in size, there is a gift store and a few kid activities before you meander the grassy paths to see the lily pads.


Don’t rush it. Allow the quiet of the nature preserve to replenish your soul. Walk the paths.


Look out and watch the birds come and go.


There weren’t any lights or a giant fan, but the sounds of nature and the brightness of green kept baby Addy entertained. Extra points for it being a new place for her to take in with those big, bright eyes.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, we found peace inside at the interactive art gallery, Artechouse in SW DC. It’s a small art gallery that costs $12 per adult and $8 per child during the day (10AM-5PM). Their new exhibit, #SpiritofAutumn, takes light and projects it onto tall, white walls. As you quietly explore the walls, you’ll notice you can interact with the falling leaves and even clap to create a storm. It’s eerily peaceful. On either side of the room are light instillations on the floor. In the very back, you can color in your own leave to be digitalized and added to the wall.

Two very different DC experiences, but both brought stillness among a month of chaos.




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