Thursday, August 22, 2013

Portland Japanese Garden

I had mentioned sometime in the past that we were in the Portland area for a family wedding.  The wedding of my niece Sarah and her fiance Mike occurred this past Sunday, in Oregon City. 
My three sisters, Linda,Gloria and Julia few in for the occasion and brother John drove in from Walla Walla,Washington.  It was great that at least five out of our family of nine living siblings made the occasion.
Sarah is the daughter of our brother Leon, who passed in 1995.  His wife Marta moved out Washington to be with her family and consequently we have not seen much of them over the years.  There are now three grandchildren on the scene.  It was good reconnecting with everyone again. 
Speaking of the cycles of life and death, pictured above are the Heavenly Falls in the Portland Japanese Garden.  Our guide for the gardens informed us that the man-made falls start out from a large body of water (life) and end in a trickle (death).  The gardens are a place of tranquility and awesome beauty.  Symbolism abounds in its five separate garden styles, authentic Japanese Tea House, wandering streams and green walkways.  Plants and tree have been carefully pruned and kept at human scale so the visitor feels at one with the environment.  The gardens have an ancient history influenced by Shinto, Buddhist and Taoist philosophies.  In the Sand and Stone Garden simple weathered stones rise up from a bed of sand which has been raked to suggest the sea. This garden style is typically found in Zen monasteries.
The latter garden, as well as the Flat Garden are the more modern gardens in the Japanese tradition.  After we saw those gardens our tour ended at the Pavilion where there is currently an exhibition of Japanese art.  At this overlook we had a good view of Mount Hood.  Thankfully it was a clear day!

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