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Stepping up the Gardens

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

We still seem to be in the yo-yo throws of the weather.  Cold, wet, and rainy is followed by cool and sunny.  I really don’t mind so much because it allows me to still enjoy the cool clean air without having to be all bundled up.  Not only being reminded of the complete changeability of the the weather, at 5:59 a.m. on Saturday morning a 5.2 earthquake shook us awake.  It wasn’t that powerful of a quake, but its epicenter was not far from where we lay our heads to rest.  As a friend mentioned this morning that with all the shaking it must be like living in a war zone, when you never know when the enemy is going to strike.

I try my hardest to put all of these things into perspective and not let them to disrupt my mediations and focus.  They are more reminders of the delicate nature of life that we have been granted here on the earth.  We need to make the most of it and devote our energies to what really matters.  Reaching out our hands to help others in needs.  Using our time to explore ourselves and the world that we all inhabit.  Looking for those vibrations that speak to our souls.

Sometimes the language being spoken to us is confusing and needs to be translated.  In my case it is my camera that helps me to interpret the world around me.  The lens acts as a mechanism to filter the world, and allows me to see the positivity in the world.  Those positive vibrations might be hidden in plain view, but with my mediation and focus I am blessed to be able to see that beauty.  Those concrete steps, which for some are just concrete steps, take on new meaning to me.  They are an integral part of my worldview.  The plants and life that inhabit the tiny spaces, sometime being taken care of with tenderness, and others being left to the elements to thrive on their own.

These are the images an objects that merge in my lens and allow me to approach the world.  I am open to change.  I look forward to seeing the world through a unique perspective.  These are the gardens of life that are sowed in the streets of my soul.

Steps Umbrella Trio of Pots Garden

Porch Front Garden with Plastic Chair, Mimomi, Chiba Japan

Potted Aloe Plants with Bicycle Garden Ornament

Obsessive Gardening in Chiba

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

I seem to be a bit obsessed myself these days.  I am be drawn into the highly packed world of the Japanese home gardens.  These are not the elegant gardens that can be found in Tokyo like Rikugien Gardens in the center of Tokyo.  No, these are the tightly packed neighborhood gardens that I find on my wanderings.

These gardens sometimes occupy the smallest spaces imaginable.  The might feature a row of potted plants sitting atop a cinderblock wall.  They could also be found in the tiniest of spaces that most foreigners wouldn’t even recognize as a backyard.  However, this is where the Japanese show amazing skill in how they use what ever space they have in order to be able to bring some greenery into their lives and in those that pass by on the street.  I would argue that there is more greenery, and green spaces to be found here in Tokyo that that of New York City’s green spaces.

There is so little space, and at times the concrete, glass, and steel seem oppressive, but all I have to do is to turn a corner and find a small contemplative oasis of green.  It might only be some herbs that occupy a windowsill, but that green is better than no green at all.

Spider Planter Mailbox

No Trash Here Garden

Potted Plant Row and Fire Extinguisher

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