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The Bamboo Thicket
Even though you’re in the middle of the busy park, in the centre of a city, the world around you is hushed and still.
Your guide stops in the heart of the thicket. “Listen.”
There is silence.
In this place, somehow, it doesn’t seem like a waste of time. So you close your eyes, and the sunlight peeking through the bamboo leaves plays across your eyelids. Amongst the gentle swishing of the bamboo, a chorus of voices rises out of the breeze, whispering a song.
“While we are hollow, we are strong.
While we are plain, we are efficient.
While we are individuals, we work best as a group.
Sound does not pass through us, light is filtered through our leaves.
We create a safe space: we are stronger than concrete, and hold together better than steel.
We grow quickly, reaching, reaching for the sun.
Sit with us, see how here, time slows, time stops.”
Your tense muscles begin to relax. Somehow, time is slowing, yet you’re aware of every moment as you feel yourself re-energise.
Your guide smiles. “It feels like we’re under a Balinese pagoda. See here is a place we made where we take the busy-ness out of time, we slow it down. And what happens then? You can use time to your advantage. Over time you become strong like the bamboo in habits, and focus. By respecting time and looking to nature for inspiration you can build a sustainable environment in yourself, in the landscape, in all that we make. Only by enjoying time can you grow and learn, and like bamboo much can be achieved in that brief time of growth.”
You notice a light coming from a pile of leaf litter. You pick up a bamboo leaf, glowing a fluorescent green, which forms a perfect point at the end. Slipping the leaf into your pocket, you linger, enjoying the secret space created by the bamboo, until your guide leads you out.
Go to The Lily Pond: You exit the bamboo thicket, blinking back into the light and walk towards the city. You pass the raised rotunda. Then you continue up the pathway through the open parkland, until on your left your see a pond with a fountain in the centre.