You can check out the Lullaby Garden and the Earth Walk on the above website. I love them all but the Serenity Garden is another of my favorites. You enter and walk along stones and then look out on the hills and vineyards. You can then choose to bend down and enter a metal box with an open roof. I do so choose and I crawl in and place myself on a flat meditation stone and feel embraced and look up at the sky. I love to sit in that box. I am calm, still, stimulated. I periodically think I would enjoy a box like that here. It would not be hard to build, and I have the space, and spot, but then, I can go there once every year or so. It is enough.
Sadly, the gardens are starting to deteriorate. They are not as well-maintained as they once were, and perhaps that, too, is a landscape statement. It is fall.
What I observed this year is that there were very few people in the garden, though there were many in the shops. There were no shops when it first opened. It was just the gardens. At the entrance of each garden is an explanation of what the garden represents and what it is meant to do. You read, then, enter, and experience what the words intend to convey. The idea is to drop you into experience. It is experiential, sensual, sensory, alive.
I seemed to be the only one in my time period on Sunday who understood that. I walked down into the Earth and I sat with the fish. I was still and as people went by and read the words, they seemed to see me as part of the "exhibit." No one was inclined to incline down into the earth, even when I smiled an invitation and beckoned with my hand. Perhaps they thought that I was part of the art. Who knows what art might tempt you to do? You might dance, barefoot.
In the serenity garden, I entered, beckoned by the stones and wide white expanse of sand. I stood at the edge and viewed and smelled the hills and then sat in my box. I could hear people talking as they read the words but no one walked into the garden.
I am curious about this, because this place is meant to be participatory. It is art. We don't just look at the garden. We walk in it, embraced, embracing, changed.
Shoes are removed for the Lullaby Garden. There is a bench on which to sit while you remove your shoes. Anticipation builds. Feet start to tingle knowing something new is about to be introduced. Feet dance in the feel, motion, and emotion of the waves. It is like being a lightning rod of delight for the sky. I like to lie down on it and listen to the sounds. Because it is rounded, I don't lie flat. I adjust to the swell and fall.
I felt so alone in this, this time. Usually there is someone else lying there, laughing at what comes. I think this shift in participation relates to the proliferation of TV and the DVR. Are we forgetting how to enter, interact?
I was talking to a friend this week and she said, "Matter matters."
I believe we are here to participate, to touch and smell and not laugh to a laugh track but to vibrate to each other as our diaphragms bounce up and down, to vibrate to the feel of the microorganisms in the soil, and in ourselves. We are so alive.
Oh, you say, she says this as she types on a computer, alone, in this moment, with her splurge of red and yellow tulips and two cats. Yes, and I make sure I touch those tulips and kiss those cats. I need nature and touch, the touch of the earth, and yes, the touch of the computer keys. I do like that up and down bounce, and I think now of the garden that was set up for children. It was empty. The water was unsplashed and unsplattered by tiny, sensitive hands, and yet, there were children there, I realize now, and they were crying because they wanted this or that, and yet, all was there, at hand, a deepening look.