Do you dream about traveling the world, or at least your little corner of it? I dream of both. A lot. There's so much to see outside of the usual day-to-day business of living. One of the places I love for its sheer beauty and peacefulness is the Byodo-In Temple in Hawaii. I've been lucky enough to visit twice. The first time was with my mom, who passed on almost two years ago. More recently I visited with my daughter. Both times turned out to be a journey of the heart. We wandered through the temple, lit incense, explored the grounds, admired the hundreds of koi carp, and had lunch on the bank of a large pond—home to a beautiful black swan. There are niches where you can meditate and small, restful waterfalls.
The temple itself is located at the foot of the Koolau Mountains, in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii. It is a replica of the 950-year-old (plus), Byodo-In Temple, in Uji, Japan, a United Nations World Heritage Site. The temple grounds are the perfect place to steal a moment of quiet reflection in a world that's grown too busy and has forgotten how to play. It won't be my last visit.
Are there other places closer to home that offer that same quiet moment to recharge? Sure. In my neck of the woods, we have the Oregon Gardens (I'll be there for a writer's retreat next week), the Portland International Rose Test Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden, and Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, just to name a few. They all have one thing in common. The ability to give their visitors a moment's rest. Hawaii especially does that for me.
A friend of mine once told me her uncle had a special way of looking at life. His way was, life is hard, now go play. I love that.
Where is your favorite place to play that gives you peace and quiet when life gets hard?
Until next time... wherever you are, have fun.
P.S. These pictures are ones I took while at the temple.