I took a road trip to Richmond, Virginia this past Saturday to visit my son and his girlfriend and we spent part of the day leisurely strolling the grounds of a breathtaking place called Maymont.
I knew nothing about Maymont but was happy to go along and discover more about this estate and 100 acre park given to the city of Richmond in 1925 by James Henry and Sallie May Dooley. As we walked through the nature center and then went out its back doors, rolling hills of green and rows of small rose bushes and manicured gardens greeted us. The sound of rushing water further along the path could be heard and we came upon a water fall of sorts (I took the photo!) which you could view from above where the water descended down the hill and beside it as you walked down the steps to a another healing patch of green: a beautiful Japanese garden full of bamboo, small bridges and large orange and white koi.
|Maymont Water Fall
I could have stayed there for hours, absorbing the tranquility of the trees, the warm sun, relaxing sound of the water and the beauty of being surrounded by undeveloped green space. It was so comforting and hopeful and yes, healing.
Unspoiled nature has this incredible power to produce a calming effect on me. When you stop and observe its seasonal beauty, it takes you out of yourself and reminds you that you are part of something a lot bigger than yourself, a community as big as Planet Earth and all of its natural wonders.
Exploring Maymont reminded me that I need to pause everyday and enjoy life’s small, fleeting pleasures, the colors and fragrance of a flower, the sound of water falling over rocks, the crisp smell of a wood fire, the feel of the sun on my face, and just walking in the grass. I need to spend more time noticing and enjoying whenever nature is around me and let its healing spirit wash over me.
I love the city but sometimes its noise and constant traffic jams can tend to grind you down and when I find an oasis of green space, whether it’s a park or potted plants and flowers, it calms me down and allows me to put positive thoughts back in my brain.
We all know how to work and set goals for ourselves but do we know how to play? Do we go out of our way to make sure we regularly relax and enjoy the people we love and the beauty of our surroundings?
Exploring a new path on Saturday, talking and walking through Maymont’s historic grounds untangled the thoughts in my head and allowed me to refresh my perspective about life, reminding me that life is not as overwhelming as it may sometimes feel.