Tiny little birds fluttering in the trees enthusiastically attempting to reach the impossible higher branches are contented to perch on a lower branch. The return of these birds announces the beginning of a new season and their arrival is welcomed by the first signs of fresh, crisp, green leaves forming on the magnificent trees in the garden. Some evidence is showing of nests in various stages of construction. My eyes are greeted by an array of colours, a mixture of sizes, numerous species, deciduous and ever greens, all harmoniously living and existing in the garden. Each day as I watch and reflect, I am continually amazed at the constant changes and colors. During autumn and winter when most of the trees had dropped their leaves, there was still beauty to be seen in the texture and shape of their trunks and the mottled leaves of the perennials. Each day during spring, signs of fresh new growth began to appear and now in summer, the trees have reached their full potential providing the shade needed to cool and protect. Together with the birds and other garden life, people are leaving the warmth of their winter homes and returning to the garden as witnesses to the purpose and significance of the seasons.
Apple green, emerald-green, bottle green, dark green, lime green are just a few shades highlighting the many species growing in the garden. Trees are enormous, hardy, glossy; some shrubs and plants are mature, others just seedlings; many flowers are scented; all are beautiful. The green hues are complemented by deep purple, yellow, orange, brown and burnt red while contrasting blossom is white, tangerine, lavender, mauve, rose-pink and fuchsia.
Snails, lizards, flies, ants, long squiggly worms, baby birds, pigeons, white butterflies, bugs and hidden creatures live in harmony with the trees, shrubs, leaves and flowers. Each life has a purpose and a role to fulfil which is diligently performed with a minimum of fuss.
The diverse human presence comes in a variety of nationalities, sizes and languages and ages. Grown-ups, young ones, groups, singles – people are walking, sitting, reading, lolling, contemplating while ground staff quietly continue their routine of planting, weeding, watering, caring, and pruning. Brightly decorated wide-brimmed hats worn over neck and ear scarves cover all but their faces, illuminated by their smiles. Old, young, male, female, experienced, novices, the workers contribute and combine their skills and passion to work together to create a peaceful paradise for all who live in the condominium complex.
Amid the busyness, activity, development, changes and growth, I hear the quietness. I am aware of the stillness; I feel the freshness; I can touch the tranquility and I am mindful of the alliance that all life has formed.
On the ground, thick, luscious, green buffalo grass reminds me of my childhood when as kids we would play on the grass, often lying on our backs enjoying its softness as we gazed in wonder at the sky. The much different variety of couch grass grows alongside the buffalo each complementing the other while displaying their own texture and characteristics. I still love the fresh, distinct smell of grass that has just been cut or mowed and even now I have a strong urge to lie on my back on the buffalo grass and daydream.
An extremely elderly man working in the lane way beside the complex is watering the huge hedge and as I walk past he gently smiles, his face beaming his contentment and serenity. Standing alone, he holds the hose in one hand while gently puffing on a fat cigar with the other. What a perfect job description – simply water the garden.
As I walk the avenue of Frangipani trees which bend to form an archway at the entrance to the complex, I leave the garden to journey outside. My mind is centered on my commitment to respectfully live in peace with all life and to carry the serenity and tranquility I feel in my garden with me wherever I go. I imagine the harmony of the garden being replicated across the globe –
imagine all the people sharing the world . . .
imagine all the people living in peace . . .
you may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
and the world will be as one.