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Ring of Palms
Your guide walks to the centre of the palm tree circle, arms wide, slowly rotating. You join him, marvelling at the precise planting.
“To master time, you must learn how to read the landscape, for it will inform your design process. Then you will see that time, it moves in a circle,” says your guide. “You start at the beginning, journey to the end, only to find you’re at a new beginning again. Every day, a new circle, every year, the same seasons, but a new journey.”
He takes your hand, a twinkle in his eye. “Let me show you.”
He turns you faster and faster, until suddenly you’re both above the palms, looking down. As the day passes, the sun travels overhead, and you see the shadows the palm trees make on the ground sweeping great circles across the grass: a natural sundial.
“We’re all organisms together on this earth, we grow better together, and all of us, like this landscape, can be read. Palms too grow well together and their trunks show the journey of their lives. See how the rings tell of years of drought, of flood, of hot and cold? Those who understand such things can even use this to help shape this landscape for the future, to better survive floods and droughts that challenge each generation…”
“They use the repetitions in time to prepare for the future,” you say, the wheels in your head churning.
You see how the rings on the trees’ bark differ, and realise you haven’t been considering how time creates repetition. You’ve been so busy marching forward, striving to achieve your goals, that you’ve forgotten to look for the patterns and cycles that appear through time. You wonder if you’ve been designed to evolve with time, just like the gardens that surround you. Perhaps these mini-cycles are the key to you bottling as much time as you can sell…
Back on the ground, you look for more clues and, yes, there! A small, round stone glowing golden joins the other objects in your pocket. Together their glow warms your leg. You must be close to solving this puzzle. You follow your guide.
Go to The Brisbane River: You walk away from the university until you reach the path that runs along the river bank. You walk down the steps, following the path around a long bend, until you reach a crossroads. On one side the riverbank and sprawling mangroves. On the other, a rainforest garden.