Finding Serenity

December 26, 2012

Koi fin like an angel wing

Koi fin like an angel wing

Undulating fin

Undulating fin

Detail, koi pond at Swansons Nursery

Detail, koi pond at Swansons Nursery

Are you ready for a few moments of peace and tranquility?  Seeing the koi at Swansons Nursery in Seattle reminded me how much I enjoy the Japanese sensibility and their ability to hold on to serenity in a crowded, busy world.  The changing shapes of these koi fins brought the northern lights to my mind for some reason.

Colorful koi

Colorful koi

A child at the koi pond in Swansons Nursery

A child at the koi pond in Swansons Nursery

There is a beautiful child’s counting book, called One Leaf Rides the Wind  by Celeste Davidson Mannis, that celebrates the pleasures and tranquility of the Japanese garden.  I like the illustrations by Susan Kathleen Hartung.  Leafing through this book gave me a brief respite from the noise of my day.

A book about counting in a Japanese garden

A book about counting in a Japanese garden

The page for "nine glittering koi"

The page for “nine glittering koi”

Koi illustration by Susan Kathleen Hartung

Koi illustration by Susan Kathleen Hartung

Yesterday for lunch I met an old friend at Alexa’s Garden Cafe located in Ballard’s Swansons Nursery.  Our table was next to the koi pond, so we could enjoy watching the well-fed and friendly fish as we ate our sandwiches and salad.  (My Reuben sandwich was excellent!)  I was especially taken with the reflections of the foliage in the water.  Here are some photos:

Reflections of palm fronds in the water of a koi pond

Reflections with tail fin

Undulating tail fin of white koi

Lovely reflections with iridescence

This reminds me of the northern lights, which I'd like to see one day.

Koi pond at Swansons Nursery in Ballard

 

The Japanese Garden in Seattle

I saw signs of autumn this week at the Japanese Garden in Seattle.  The edges of some maple leaves had already turned orange.  And the spiders were busy building webs.  I plan to return in October when the fall foliage should be at its peak.

The Japanese Garden is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  It’s a lovely oasis in the city and well worth a visit.

Bridge over the ponds in the Japanese Garden

The leaves were starting to turn in the garden.

I love the pattern of leaves with their shadows.

Lily pads

Reflections in the ponds at the Japanese Garden

Feeding frenzy: koi vs. thieving duck

Colorful koi at the Japanese Garden

Ginkgo leaves

Green pine cone, Japanese Garden

I love how the spider web reflects the colors of the leaves.

One of several Japanese lanterns on the grounds of the Japanese Garden