Learning process

(Cleveland Botanical Garden)

My goal for today is to sit down and learn something new.  The something new I want to learn involves my website which a good friend has kindly redesigned for me.  The redesign was done last year but has not been implemented yet because I need to learn how it works so I can update it (all on my own) as needed/wanted.  After my mother’s death I couldn’t get my brain to function well enough to follow the well-written instructions I was given.

Depression and sadness are funny things.  Not funny ha-ha, of course.  Funny weird.  It’s hard to know you’re depressed or terribly sad while you are right in the midst of it.  Over the past few weeks I’ve begun to feel ready for something new, to jump in and learn.  That is when I realized the sadness that is part of the grieving process was finally lifting.  I still get sad but it isn’t a constant in my life anymore.

I am excited about it.  I have been planning and thinking about setting some goals for myself.  Those are all good signs, but they need some action behind them so I’d better get to it.

I’ll let you know how it all works out.

Look Up: In the Japanese Garden

I’ve always enjoyed spending time in Japanese gardens.  The Cleveland Botanical Garden (CBG) has a Japanese garden that is beautiful even in the rain.  Perhaps especially in the rain as all that water from the sky adds an extra element to the mix as well as making us slow down to savor the beauty and peace of the garden.  And the rain does tend to keep other people away, gifting us with the garden all to ourselves for a little while.

The CBG’s Japanese garden has been in place for 33 years.   According to the CBG website, the hillside portion was designed to evoke the Zen Buddhist dry landscape style.  As you look up the steps in the photo above you see rocks that are suggestive of water streaming down the hill.  Because it was a rainy day, it was more than a suggestion.  If you look further up the hillside, you will see a lantern:

This was put there to represent one of the elements of the tea garden style, the lanterns being placed along the path to light the way during evening tea ceremonies.

There are also elements of the stroll style garden in CBG’s Japanese garden, where rocks are placed in such a way as to slow down the walker and help him or her take the time to appreciate the garden and the moment, along with plenty of open space (known as “ma”) to help define the elements around it as well as be defined by those same elements.

(Japanese red maple leaves.)

If you wish to learn more about Japanese gardens and the various styles, elements, and placements, have a look at The Helpful Gardener’s article:  Japanese Garden Design Principles.  It’s a good place to start.