Yesterday I meandered through Park & Tilford Gardens, which is a hidden oasis in what might otherwise be considered a typical strip mall. I love that fact that at some point someone decided that in the midst of a place primarily devoted to commerce it was important to create a space to explore lush, fragrant and abundant plant life.
I particularly love this rounded entrance to the Japanese garden area. It reminds me of an entrance to a Hobbit's home. In the midst of this garden it functions as a portal inviting you into another realm, a place to step outside of the frantic pace of life and commerce and soak in a purely sensory and aesthetic experience. You enter a sacred space that forces you to slow down, breath deeply and simply be present, if even for a moment.
There is something wonderful about the idea of a portal, or even a round entrance way. The circular entrance feels less linear and rational than a common rectangular doorway, and seems more in touch with the circular aspects of nature, such as the changes of the seasons, that have shaped our sense of time and place for untold millennia.
Although perhaps less practical, I wish there were a few more round doorways or portals in everyday life. Perhaps this in some small way this might change our thinking of what it means to transition into a new space. It may infuse even a slight sense of wonder and possibility upon entering into even the most seemingly mundane room or environment. Whether it be work or play, walking through a portal to get there might even change our imagination and therefore open even more doors.
Are there any portals in your world? Where would you like to see them?