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Friday Slide Show: Garden Miracles Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

14 June 2019

Two halves make a whole. By definition. But in the world we inhabit, it can be hard to tell if something is a half. And even if you can, it can be even harder to find the other half. So we go along picking things up in pieces.

Last week we showed you around the bunker for our Friday slide show. It's a rather large room, the full width of the building and a good quarter of its depth. But that's only half the story.

The other half is the garden just outside the door.

We've shown you photos from the garden before but gardens, like rivers, have a way of never remaining the same. You can't step into the same river or garden twice. It's different every time.

This takes some getting used to. We live indoors where things don't change much. The pictures remain on the wall, fading imperceptibly over the years. The curtains remain hung by the windows, accumulating dust surreptitiously. The rugs make the most dramatic statement but we tend to vacuum them back to what they were.

A room, in short, doesn't change much. It just gradually becomes invisible. Except in a certain light and that's what caught our fancy last week.

To appreciate the constant change in a garden, you have to sit in it.

We've shown you photos from the garden before but gardens, like rivers, have a way of never remaining the same.

You can't just peek out the window and then look back at your monitor. It will just seem like a picture hung on the wall.

No, you walk out there and sit on a chair and keep still longer than you think you should. And a hummingbird will whip by you. A gopher will tug at some grass. A few bees will jump erratically from one flower to another on the rosemary bush.

You'll notice the flowers on the lemon tree turn into little olives that grow into what look like limes before turning color and revealing themselves as lemons.

And those apple blossoms we were showing off just a few weeks ago are now the smallest apples you've ever seen.

You'll notice that some things die, of course. That's the natural course of things. Others persist long past the time you expected to uproot what was left of them. Then there are things that grow out of nothing and keep returning despite your best efforts to unfriend them.

All that is engaging in an uplifting way.

In fact, as the latest bulletin from our health provider points out, the Japanese have a name for it: shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. It's what happens when you absorb the atmosphere of a forest. Just get outside for a while, breathe some fresh air, get some sun and watch what's going on around you.

The health bulletin suggests it can "lower blood pressure, heart rates and levels of harmful hormones -- like cortisol, which your body produces when stressed." They even pointed us to a silly video:

We are always amazed, sitting in the garden for a few minutes, at all the activity going on. It's a room with the sky for a ceiling and living walls.

We can't help but take a few photos every once in a while of the little miracles we notice. And most recently that was last week when we had the Vivitar 70-210mm Series One macro on our Nikon D200 and prowled the environs looking for challenging compositions. Then we went back into the other half of our environment to process what we shot.

Join us in our garden for a few minutes this week. You'll feel a better. If our experience is any guide.

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