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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fort Worth's Japanese Gardens

Japanese Koi at the Gardens
I haven't felt inclined to write lately but knew I needed to do something before I fell off the writing wagon. Why not head over to the Japanese Gardens and walk around?

I was still uninspired as I drove through Fort Worth's Botanical Gardens and parked. The scenery was beautiful, but I was distracted by my lack of enthusiasm.

All of that changed the minute I paid my $4 fee and walked through the entrance of the Japanese Gardens.

There was silence. I was alone in a new world, and an overwhelming serene feeling took me away from the loud and busy world just moments away. The only sounds I heard were a cool breeze that tickled the never-ending canopy of leaves overhead, and a waterfall off in the distance. I instantly felt calm.

"In Japan, a tea garden or stroll garden offers more than a place to cultivate favorite plants. It provides a place for meditation, relaxation, repose and a feeling of tranquility," the garden's official brochure read.

Karesansui Garden
I couldn't have said it better. There was something different about this garden. It really brought tranquility to the willing soul. Every path, plant and rock seemed intentional. Even the canopy of leaves brought the eyes to the heavens.

"Nature is honored and revered. Through the use of trees, shrubs, stones and water, beauty is created and serenity is achieved," the brochure continued on. "The quiet shades of green and various textures compose garden peacefulness."

Sometimes we all need a break from our hectic lives. Some get massages, some get pedicures, some have a therapist. My advice is much cheaper — spend $4 at the Japanese Gardens and meditate about how your week went, if that job is satisfying, what it is that your life may be missing. I think we underestimate the power of silence in nature. Either that, or we've forgotten. Here is a place in our hometown where we can hear ourselves think.

I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to go back to the traffic on University Drive, back to grading papers and cooking dinner. I wanted to stay here lost in time and space.

But I will go back next time with a book and sit in one of the many benches that overlook the trickling ponds. If you're missing inspiration in your life, I recommend spending one hour here by yourself to unwind, rewind and do as I did. I'm writing, aren't I?

See photo gallery below.