Every day, once, twice, three times, we bound up the switchback path through the sculpture garden to the food forest on top. We get our 10,000 steps in and I think of Heraclitus. You know, the Ancient Greek philosopher who basically invented the concept of flux : “no one ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and they are not the same person.” ( I fixed a gender problem in this quote.)
We walk this same labyrinthine path, and yet each time some botanical wonder comes into our field of vision to delight us anew. There is stuff so visually arresting that it seems impossible that I ever walked by and did not notice. I am captivated by a fantastic shaped leaf, or a pod of an unusual hue of blue underfoot, or a crazy cool scarlet-pink bromeliad flower with deep purple tips that were dark red yesterday. A tall stand of fuschia – white orchids looms over the path forming an arch with a huge deep green fern.
When we get to the hilltop, the grove of towering macadamia nut trees is spacious and nurturing. The mac nuts drop when ripe, their outer shells rich green and pebbly; every day there are more and bigger green globes scattered on the dark red-brown leaf litter. We check in on a persimmon tree- the fruit is ripe when the birds peck into it, leaving on the branch a half-eaten hemisphere. We duck under the foliage of Plinia cauliflora, a Brazilian tree with its’ trunk packed with bright green to deep purple to black shiny marble-like fruit that looks a bit like a giant Concord grape, called ‘Jaboticaba’. Drask thinks it tastes grape-y, too.
So, can one walk through the same forest twice? Having this slow time to witness the spectacle, the dizzying unfolding of this rich, festive garden is such an honor. Time is unspooling, our ongoing delight tinged with a solemn quality, because: the awesomeness of the place, the autumn light, the rain. And we are some humans who have been sent to our room to think about we’ve done. As we step into the river again and again, we’re grounded.