Down the road and around the corner lies a garden I love to get lost in. It's not excessively big, but it contains so many variations of nature–flowers, a river, trees, rocks, old overgrown bridges, and stone benches for contemplating in solitude. The UNCA Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite places to go to hit life's reset button. You can take a quick walk or wander all day. Take a friend or take a picnic. Once you step off of the parking lot blacktop onto the graveled path, time slows down.
Sounds of traffic die away and the symphony of nature takes over. Mischievous breezes rustle through the trees and play in my hair. Hungry squirrels dine on their own buffet and regard me as if I'm the show. Birds sing sweeter, as if they left their cares behind. I wander through glades that beckon reverie and beside a river that tells tales as old as the forest it was birthed in. Moss covers the inflexible boulders like a priceless shawl. Flowers bloom strong in their own identity, uncaring of opinions or the environment around them. Even the dying plants hold a regal elegance as they fade to make way for the next season's show of beauty.
I relax and leave all my cares behind as I wander over leaf-covered pathways and down verdant aisles. My camera captures floral pageantry frozen in time. Every step I take reminds me of what is really important in my life and that nothing will last forever. When I reluctantly retrace my steps and re-enter my every day life, I give thanks for the opportunity to breathe new life into my tired soul and spread the peace to those I love.