I am spending Christmas in Rome this year, and when I’m not complaining about the cold (while still eating gelato!) I spend my spare time walking through the gardens of Villa Borghese, the ‘Central Park’ of Rome.
These gardens are a haven in the middle of a bustling city. Apart from the sheer size and beauty of the landscape, Borghese is laden with an allegory of sensory delights including secret gardens, great sculptures, a zoo, the world’s tiniest cinema and one of the best museums in the historical heart. If you wander to the edge of these vast parklands you are rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Vatican across to Trastevere. It is a visual feast.
Walking while marveling at these natural and man made spectacles is like meditation for me. It slows me down and fills me up. Given the pressures of society today, we all crave those precious moments for reflection, contemplation and solitude. In the more modern cities of the world gardens, museums, libraries and nature have become our new cathedrals. People yearn for the peace and tranquility that comes from being still in the presence of beauty.
As I watch people wander through Rome, whether it be a garden, villa or church, I see them fall under the same hypnotic spell cast upon me when I first arrived. Beautiful things are transcendental. Some of the best paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael and Carracci adorn the historical churches of the city, while sculptures by masters like Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini are dotted in the architecture and alters. Churches have become the museums of Rome and visitors are no less reverent in these beautiful spaces.
Beautiful things are transcendental.
To wonder at the magnificence of nature or inspiring works of art instills a peace and tranquility than I never tire of. I find it interesting to see people gather in these places and watch a crowded public space transform into a serene refuge.
So whether your place of contemplation these holidays is the beach, a rain forest, going to church, or visiting a museum, this is the opportunity to find some personal space to retreat and reflect upon the year just passed and to appreciate the expanse of possibilities that lie ahead for 2014.
This is my last post for 2013. From the team at Waterlily we thank you for all of your heartfelt support. We take personal pride in the products and rituals we create and have been deeply touched by your generous feedback and well wishes. We look forward to seeing you in 2014… a brand new year with brand new opportunities for Wellness!
Botanical Tidings and a Beautiful New Year! xxx