The Grotto at Grebovka

Grotto. There’s an interesting word. But, as I wrote the headline for this blog, I realized I didn’t know exactly what a grotto is, like what is the specific definition. So, I went to Wikipedia. It’s basically a cave, and they’ve been popular for millenia (of course, since the cave age), used as wine cellars, cold storage, and temples. There are natural grottoes, artificial grottoes, tidal grottoes, mountain grottoes, and garden grottoes. The grotto at Grebovka park is a garden grotto. The pavilion stretches in more than a half circle, around a courtyard, and between the grotto and the rest of the park is a fountain. There are vines growing up the columns, big, elephant ear leaves, heart shaped, and hauntingly beautifully lit from the bottom after it got dark. There’s a weird rock formation rising up behind it that looks like a series of giant termite mounds, and behind that, the trees rising from the hillside. One of which was covered with blossoms, which appeared white in the light of the grotto, but may have been pink. Above it all, the Big Dipper.
It was our first poetry reading of the summer, the first poetry reading since the start of the quarantine. There were a lot of people there, so social distancing was not happening, and nobody was wearing their masks, but I guess that’s what easing restrictions means.
It was a good night. A few songs, some very original ideas, met a few new people, and it felt very much as if we were carrying on the literary and dramatic tradition of ancient Athens. Because of the grotto.

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