I arrived at Rienzi a few minutes early this morning, coffee in one hand, my lunch of leftover saag paneer in the other. I was a little on edge, for my a.m. drive in was unnecessarily stressful. When I entered my office, which is an off-view bedroom at Rienzi (nicknamed the Septapus Room after a psychedelic, seven-armed octopus painted on the walls) ironically, I felt an instant calm.
Psychedelic murals aside, the Septapus Room has two floor-to-ceiling, glass pocket doors. The view from these windows is spectacular. One looks over the Waterfall Garden into Buffalo Bayou while the other has an angled view of the Reflecting Pool. I often tell my family and friends how much I love this space—even though Rienzi is located in a hopping area of Houston, on Kirby, near the busy Allen Parkway, the 4.4 acres of land surrounding the house museum are a natural, tranquil retreat.
This morning, with the rain creating a delightful glistening effect on trees, and with the sight of an occasional red or yellow ombre leaf, the peacefulness of the natural landscape instantly transformed my mood. I snapped a few photographs of this morning’s view, and they can be found in the slideshow.
If you need a retreat from the daily bustle of Houston, stop by and take a break in Rienzi’s gardens. Open to the public daily, free of charge, they are a delightfully serene reading and reflecting space.