The joys of retirement
In the very foreground here, you can see the silhouette of a gardner trimming some foliage. She worked steadily for about fourty minutes, tracing every twig back to it's stem and then then stem back to the branch, and clipping only after she was quite sure that every leaf that was left was precisely the perfect leaf to be there. It was very zen.
There was Tai Chi class going on when we arrived. Lots of geriatric practitioners. There are mah jong tournaments held once a week, calligraphy classes, embroidery demonstrations . . . it's an active part of the Chinese community.
And then it was time for a tour of the garden. The docent we followed was a font of information. The trick of a garden like this is to give a sense of infinite space in quite a small area. Curved paths lead you to new views. The tree you are admiring conceals a pond just a few steps on which is placed to reflect both the tree, and the building wall on which the tree casts elegant shadows. Sit in the building and look through the window on the left which frames a fascinating water-carved boulder like a whole mountain range in miniature, or look through the window on the right and contemplate the twisted branches of a venerable old pine tree. You find yourself savoring every detail, and just when you think you've seen it all, you notice the shadows, or the reflections, or the way a breeze makes the leaves ripple on the little bush in the corner. It's a place where you take your time.
The garden is designed to be enjoyed at all times and in all seasons. I hope to return often. Winter rain, spring blossoms, autumn leaves, this place is a treasure trove!
After our garden time,we walked a couple blocks and had DimSum for lunch. I just love
this sort of meal, where you get a bit of this and a taste of that and a few of those little crispy fried balls of wonderful flavor, and before you know it, you're groaning in pain, and the table is heaped high with empty little plates. I'm still uncomfortable, and I wouldn't have foregone a thing. It was a glorious day!