I recently visited the Portland Japanese Garden, considered to be one of the most authentic Japanese-style gardens outside of Japan. It is five impeccably-landscaped acres of serenity. A Japanese garden is a study in composition - placing emphasis on symbolic placement of garden elements to suggest and replicate natural landscape elements such as rivers and mountain ranges. There is nothing placed therein without being thoroughly considered. Since I am flummoxed by our little half-acre, which is thankfully the husband's passion anyway, I am in awe of the talents of those that designed and maintain this Japanese garden.
Visiting on a warm early-spring day, during the week so there were few other people around, I felt so relaxed and peaceful. It is absolutely gorgeous. I've put together a short slideshow of some photos snapped with a pocket digital camera during my stroll through the garden. I hope it suggests something of the quiet emerald tranquility that emanates throughout the place.
The soundtrack is "Crystal Deva" from the album Crystal Healing by Anthony Miles. This music is quite possibly the most calming I have ever heard. D first introduced me to this album, given to him by my dear mother-in-law, back when we were in the long-distance period of our relationship. I used to listen to it when I was upset, or stressed, or just missing him and trying to get to sleep.
Every now and then it pops up in my mp3 rotation at work - and as soon as it starts playing, I swear I can feel my heartbeat slow and relaxation begin to creep into my soul. Bliss.