Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hidden Pond

Today I walked down an old section of Hunter's Valley Road to twin stone pillars flanking a trail. A few hundred feet down a muddy path I came to a grove of bamboo so thick that light barely penetrated the thicket. It rained hard last night and everything was drenched. Moisture beaded up at the ends of the bamboo fronds and dripped on me as I shoved my way through the foliage.

Once into the enclosure I marveled at the space. A pond, completely hidden from view, surrounded on three sides by bamboo and on the other by banked rows of rhododendrons and azaleas. Fallen leaves and lily pads dotted the surface, and the great shaggy bamboo, weighted by water, hung its head in the pool.

What is it about a hidden garden we find so appealing? Is it the incongruity of something outside and in the open but still out of sight? Or is it the feeling that it gives us, one of enclosure and safety. Whatever the explanation, the place had a magical effect on me; it calmed me, slowed me, made me want to stay.

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