I spent some time at the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley a few weeks ago and noticed a few things.
1. Getting outside is essential to one’s sanity. I have been spending a great deal of time indoors lately taking care of the little one. While we go on walks almost everyday, there’s something special about taking that walk somewhere that doesn’t feel so familiar. The Gardens have an amazing ability to make you forget that you are still in a city. I feel like I can relate a little to what Alice and Dorothy must have felt when they were swooped off into another world. I kind of dig that feeling.
2. It’s good to get lost. The Gardens have been designed so that you can get lost and wander without getting nervous. You will eventually come back to to a path that leads you to the entrance. After about 15 minutes of walking around I was in a space in my mind that I’ve been missing lately. You know that place where you just kind of think random thoughts? You aren’t thinking about what needs to get done today or writing to do lists in your head. You’re just letting random ideas and thoughts pass by your brain. That’s what happens to me when I’m free to wander. Time doesn’t matter for a while. Pressure lifts off my shoulders just enough to give me a break.
3. I am somewhat obsessed with the last living leaf and/or flower hanging from a tree. I seem to be amassing a collection of lonely leaves and flowers on winter trees. What is it about that last flower that pulls my eye in? Is it the idea of death or resilience? Perhaps it’s more about the aesthetics of the harsh bare branches next to the soft full flower. Who knows.