Monday, April 20, 2015

Japanese Tea Gardens: Of Seeing and Seeking

Mark and I took a long loop walk on Saturday through Golden Gate Park, just about from one end to the other. Neither one of us had ever been there before. The most satisfying part of the walk for me was being able to now better picture scenes from one of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City novels. That is, until we arrived at the Japanese Tea Garden.

My "serious" pose looking over Ocean Beach (which seems somehow like an oxymoron). 

Flora in the park

They don't grow rhododendrons like this back in Utah.

When we entered the Japanese garden, we both felt like we were back in Japan (where we trekked for three weeks on our honeymoon back in September 2013). For me, to walk into a Japanese garden is to be transported into a place that exudes peace and the invitation to contemplate and appreciate beauty that is mindfully created. Almost every square foot exudes meaning - sometimes hidden from unappreciating and/or uncomprehending eyes. 

A sign with a hidden, metaphorical meaning. Stay on the path that leads to enlightenment. Self. Community. World.

I like the imagery of the path. It brings to mind a dirt trail, hard-packed from the passage of many feet, but in the forest and its periphery, removed from the much more heavily-traveled highways. It also brings to mind pilgrims, wanderers and wonderers, who seeking, see, and who seeing, seek. May I always be counted among such numbers.

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