An Unexpected Adventure: Berkeley Rose Garden

Lately in an effort to not start the day without studying, I would meandered around the neighborhood in the morning. Without a destination. Wind was perhaps my only direction. Sometimes, I would find unexpected beauties in this busy hustling city of Berkeley.

I remembered I was jogging along Euclid Ave. 7am. The air fresh. The sun low. Streets were quiet, and the people scarce.

At first, the scenery was the familiar restaurants and tiny cramped college apartments. But the more north I went, the more interesting things got.

I knew of a horizontal street called Vine. Yet, this is a walk for pedestrians only. Its curvatures and flowers seemed to welcome me down the path.

I took the invitation and the walk greeted me with mossed staircase and over arching branches. When I reached the other side, I turned back because the only way to go back home was through Euclid.

Then I saw rose street.

Right then I didn’t grasp the subtle hints, nor what they were trying to tell of the beauty that lies ahead, until I saw it with my own eyes.

Berkeley Rose Garden. A circular download garden with pergola filled with myriad of roses. It was a project during the depression to increase employment.

I was never a plant or rose person. I was immensely curious when I saw the bizarre roses names: Gold celebration, American Beauty, etc. Especially striking was the King’s Ransom. A king? A ransom? For what?

It was winter. The rose garden had no blooming rose. Yet I allowed my imagination to soared.

Summer time.

Morning dew. Roses. Colors and energy.

I promised myself in May I would visit this place once again. I would find out the price of the king’s ransom.

At the heart of the garden lies a poem and a creek. I read it and pondered a bit.

California has always been in constant drought. Only the lowered side of the creek had flowing water.

I gazed down.

I saw my own reflection.

I reflected.

What a failure I was! I have lived in his city for more than a year and a half. Only now I found this wondrous place?

I reflected on the books the university had me read. They were supposed to enlighten me and broaden my view of this world. I now began to see that I was instead confined in a frame 7″ by 10″ held loosely by a spine.

There are many ways to learn; books are but one way.

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