Zen Writing

Went to VanDusen Botanical Gardens for brunch with one of my favourite people, and had a writing session with her in what is sometimes referred to as the Zen Garden (it’s more commonly called the Meditation Garden).

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My beautiful grandmother. She’s eating a vegetarian panini on the gluten free bread she brought herself.

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Look at those sticky fingers! I had brioche french toast with strawberry rhubarb compote and maple syrup. Oh, and turkey sausages. Delish!

After our brunch, we headed over the the garden entrance.

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Cool wooden lighting fixture in the tiny art gallery just outside the ticket desk, across from Truffles Fine Foods.

VanDusen Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place, especially on a gorgeous day like today. I’ve always felt that it’s reflective of Vancouver–too big to be small, but almost humble in its simplicity. And, of course, beautiful in a way that touches your heart like you thought only home could. It’s a great place to take a stroll, especially with young children. (Note: there is an entrance fee.)

My grandmother and I have been a thousand times on sunny days before, and the gardens have been lovely each and every time. But today we didn’t spend too much time looking at the foliage; our mission was of a different nature, so we took a direct path to the Meditation Garden–a place my grandmother describes as a “quiet, sacred spot”.

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The entrance to the Meditation Garden. The carved Chinese characters read “Ease at the Heart”.

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Inside the garden.

Once seated, we began to write. We stayed there for a few hours, once pausing to read our work to each other. My grandmother is one of the only people I like sharing rough pieces with, probably because of the reflective elements that surface in both our writing when we’re together. I also don’t mind because I know I could write complete crap and she would still find something nice to say about it, as long as I had put some thought into it. She is a grandma, after all.

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My grandmother chose to focus most of her writing on her first memories of her mother, and the beginnings of what would eventually define their relationship.

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A day’s well spent.

At around three we packed up, agreeing to write together again. For those of you who love writing, I suggest you find someone to write with as well. Whether it’s in a garden, a quiet coffee shop, or an empty classroom, writing in silence with someone else is a great way to get work done. It’s focused, productive, and, of course, fun!

All the best,

Miriam

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