On a COVID-inspired Easter Sunday drive, we discovered a wild botanical habitat and urban oasis at The Arlington Garden in Pasadena, California. Covering two-and-a-half acres, it is not a park, but a lush water-wise regenerative garden project built by the community. Celebrating Southern California’s Mediterranean climate (no admission charge), it’s designed with “rooms” of wild local flora and lovingly maintained. Dirt pathways meander throughout, and scattered intimate seating arrangements invite visitors to relax, reflect, or enjoy a quiet picnic. Crape Myrtle trees are above-ground wishing wells with visitors’ handwritten hopes and aspirations dangling from bare branches.
Deep inside the garden we “walked the labyrinth.” The rock-lined circuitous path introduced us to an ancient practice known around the world that offers contemplation and spiritual centering. A labyrinth’s single path leads to its center -- or “the center of your inner thoughts or of the world or of the universe.” The seemingly simple pattern of the Arlington Garden Labyrinth follows the oldest labyrinth design – over 5,000 years old.
It was an easy five-minute, but slow walk, to the center, the half-way point. With each thoughtful step, I looked down as the stones guided me along the narrow serpentine route. Oblivious to everything else around me, I reached the center, lingered for a long and quiet minute, then turned around to complete my pensive walk back through the magic of the labyrinth.
This is your country, and it’s up to you to save it.” – English translation of a saying in Taiwan
Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives