Wednesday, November 9, 2011

taking time to smell the roses

I love to go for walks. Not only is it great for my physical well being, it is necessary for my mind and spirit. I have not been as diligent about my daily walks after moving in, though I have no excuse for staying inside all day. I just still do not know the neighborhood that well and there are no straight roads. We're pretty close to the Berkeley hills but near the bottom. If I want to stay on flat land, I am walking through a business district, which isn't terribly relaxing and I always get distracted. I end up running errands instead of taking time away from the mental running. If I want to stay on the quiet, residential streets, then I have to climb The Hills. Armed with my cellphone (including GPS, just in case) and my Pumas, I decided that today was the day I needed to climb. Google maps was showing a fairly straight route to a park about a mile away. This seemed like a good goal for a first attempt. After a warm up around the block, I approached the hill. It seemed to go on forever but only 25 minutes had passed. Through my huffing and puffing I finally reached the park that had the most beautiful surprise, The Berkeley Rose Garden.

I had no idea that such a place existed. But I think it's better that I literally stumbled upon it. Apparently there are 3,000 rose bushes with more than 220 varieties. The garden is nestled into the hillside in the shape of an amphitheater with roses in every seat. The best part about a hillside of rose bushes is that you can see beyond the tops from a lookout space above the garden. Without the obstruction of trees you can see clear across the bay and it is breathtaking. Thankfully there was a bench to catch me.

After a stressful week, this was just what I needed. And now I have the perfect walking trail where I can take some time to stop and smell the roses.

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