Finding Calm?


Imagine a serene and peaceful, tranquil retreat from the chaos and crowds. Quiet moments with just the gentle noises of nature, the water, the birds and the slight rustling of the leaves. Sounds good!


In my idea of a weekend finding calm moments, I was sweetly reminded that in any quest for calm, noise is likely to come. I was reminded that you just can’t have these aims without the expectation of interruption.

The Japanese Garden in Portland, OR, was calling me. Cherry Blossoms (my fav) are starting to drop their glorious petals so I wanted to make a trip out to slowly walk round the lovely gardens, enjoying the peace and calm and having some quiet moments to myself.

Yeah, well, it seemed a bazillion others who were from or visiting Portland wanted to do something similar. It was literally like queuing up at a theme park to get on a ride. We (hubby and I) realised that Saturday was probably a stupid idea for ‘calm finding’. What was I thinking, that I would have the place to myself?! It was jam packed, so much so you kind of spent most the time around the gardens following the heels of, well, the general public.

I am in no way dissing the Japanese Garden, I LOVE this place and have enjoyed it pretty much all to my self in the past, I just arrogantly thought that because I wanted to go and be ‘peaceful’, I could. It was pretty funny really, lining up to get in, lining up to look at the big Cherry Blossom with camera in hand just like everyone else. The whole thing had a sense of the ridiculous and I couldn’t help but laugh at myself and my ideas.


What did happen though is that I was nicely reminded that you can’t necessarily ‘find peace’ if you are searching for it. Actually you have to find a sense of peace in amongst all the noise and chaos or even find the noise and chaos, peaceful. The beauty of the surroundings I came to enjoy were there but somehow different when submerged within the crowds. The garden still maintained it’s stillness but to me seemed to have a strength about it, a grounding, even though it had all the onlookers and photographers, children, and talking. It could handle it. And I guess, so could I.



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