Slowing Down: Japanese Gardens

Urgency and tranquility don’t coexist.

Slowing Down: Japanese Gardens

This past Sunday, I explored the Japanese garden at Frederick Meijer Gardens with my parents. Upon arriving at the entrance gate, my father said, “it’ll be quicker if we go this way.” This utterance took me aback.

Why rush? We went to the garden to experience nature and calmness. Our calendars were empty. The first sentence of the Japanese garden’s description on the website reads, “Tranquility, simplicity and beauty are the very essence of a Japanese garden.” Urgency and tranquility don’t coexist.

Thankfully, we didn’t rush. The garden wasn’t spectacular, but it was pleasant. The waterfalls were soothing, and the view at the highest point (shown in the photo above) was beautiful. There were a dozen places along the trail where I could have meditated for an hour.

The next time you are feeling rushed, pause for a moment. Breathe. Smile. You’re alive.