I had the joy of spending an hour alone at the Botanic Gardens on a weekday morning last week. It was a rare indulgence.
Just strolling about in the cool morning air after it rained, with no specific agenda to think about at all…… in today’s world, in this season of life, it is indeed rare to find a sole hour set apart for our solitary selves, when we are not working or caring for someone else.
The lovely willows……
I was quite intrigued by this beautiful plant, and took photos of its buds, flowers, unripe and ripe fruits. Could it be some variety of orchid? The fruits don’t look like they belong to an orchid though…
A mother hen and her three chicks.
The lush greenery, landscaped in parts, yet freely wild primary rainforest in other parts.
This bird walked from lily pad to lily pad without a care in the world. How fascinating that a delicate leaf balancing on one stem, can be so fragile yet sturdy.
Different stages of a lily and its leaf. Is that a tiny leaf bud or a flower bud?
I took time to admire the subtle beauty of purple petals, fine hanging aerial roots, mangrove-like aerial roots…… and a gardener walking across the bridge reminded me of how grateful we should be for the migrant workers who maintain the beautiful grounds of the Botanic Gardens.
The calm of the morning was broken by feisty shouts of women doing some aerobic training. Was it Cross Fit or body combat?
This scene reminded me of a book I was reading on Energy Management and being engaged. Here are some excerpts that I thought were worth recording down:
- Life is not a linear trajectory of running a marathon at a constant pace. Rather, we must build in circadian ebbs and flows to strengthen our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual selves. Periods of recovery and rest are crucial in building endurance.
- Too much rest and inactivity (life as long holiday, no challenges) is also sub-optimal as it leads to atrophy and weakness.
- The key muscle that fuels spiritual energy is character – the courage and conviction to live by our values and beliefs.
- Energy is sustained by balancing a commitment to others with adequate self-care.
- If trees are to survive in a high-wind area, they must have a deep root structure. Deep roots to us comprise firm beliefs and compelling values, without which we are easily buffeted by prevailing winds and the storms that sweep through our lives.
I spent some time seated at this bench, listening to the whirr of crickets rise and fall, whilst in the distance a piling machine punctuated the stillness with its staccato drilling. Unnatural and annoying, but perhaps necessary in making even the Botanic Gardens what it is today, with its visitor and research centres.
I ended the morning walk feeling refreshed, with a deep sense of gratitude for this space, as well as for all the beauty of flora and fauna in my Father’s world.
However sporadic, an hour alone amidst nature can be invigorating indeed. And for the gift of this hour, I am thankful.