Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Meditation Garden

After walking the labyrinth 
at the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) in Virginia Beach, 
I suggested to my husband that we visit the ARE's meditation garden.
This serene garden rests to the west of the ARE library,
against the north slope of the high dune, 
which creates the sense that the garden is in a small valley.

The garden floor is sheltered by mature trees and a grove of bamboo:

The vertical bamboo canes appear incredibly sturdy:

We discovered a short path that led us into a clearing 
at the center of the bamboo grove. 
Inside it was cool and dark and very sandy.
It would have been a great place to hide away and meditate:

Outside of the grove, the branches of this live oak reach ever skyward:

And when I followed another path, 
I was happy to see a beautyberry shrub.
It has been one of my favorites 
ever since I came upon several while hiking in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas.

On a stone wall behind the shrub, a garden sculpture with gentle lines and curves
evocative of a bird in flight decorated the landscape:

The garden was especially peaceful just after dawn on a Sunday morning.
And we should have sat on a bench and contemplated nature's beauty
as the light came up around us; 
instead, we allowed our attention to be diverted elsewhere.
To find out what futile pursuit we embarked upon,
join me tomorrow.

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