A tale about getting lost might involve taking the wrong train, having a lousy navigator beside you, or leaving the compass at home. It could also mean losing one’s mind in the moment, being absorbed in a stunning painting or architectural style, momentarily forgetting who you are and where you are. There have been many moments in my life when that is true. Getting physically lost can be exciting, frightening or frustrating, but generally if you keep on going you always arrive somewhere. Getting lost spiritually however can be a similar journey of discovery.

chateau and marina at Yvoire - FranceIt was hot. The last week in September, but feeling more like mid-summer with the sun kissing my skin and a soft breeze floating offshore. The lake was like a mirror reflecting the clouds and the boats bobbing in the little marina. The majority of the crowd disembarked from the ferry and made their way to one of the two nearby restaurants on the quayside. I watched them melt away before making my decision to explore first and eat later.

In immense anticipation I made my way through the narrow streets of the beautiful medieval village to “Le Labyrinthe Jardin des Cinq Sens,” (the Garden of Five Senses) and my “raison d’être” for visiting Yvoire.

astersIn an oasis of tranquillity you can smell, touch, contemplate, listen and taste. The garden is divided into rooms where you can connect with flavours, fragrances and textures. Gently touch the furry quince or spiky heads of the teasels; smell the chocolate cosmos and rub the apple-scented pelargonium leaves between your thumb and fingers; study the glacial-blue of a clematis, the considered planting of deep pink asters amongst paler pink Japanese anemones; nibble spearmint, chocolate mint or a sprig of rosemary and listen to the birds splashing cheerfully in the bird bath in the centre of the maze of hornbeams.

sparrowsAs I relaxed on a bench, undisturbed, the sun burning two copper discs onto my retina, I drifted into another world:

lost in the moment

My senses reaching out to the sensations around me, aware only of what I could hear and smell and feel – the babbling water and the incessant birdsong mingling in the background, the perfume of the flowers and the light soft breeze on my face.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

16 thoughts on “Lost”

  1. Great post Jude, you’ve described The Garden of Five Sense perfectly! It’s such a peaceful place.

  2. Reblogged this on Earth laughs in flowers… and commented:

    During January I am going to feature some of the lovely gardens that I have discovered abroad (outside the UK) – I thought I would start with this lovely sensual garden that I wrote about on my Travel Words blog some time ago.

  3. Oh yes- I’d like to see more 🙂 That photo looks very Swiss to me, more so than French, but other than a dawdle along the shore at Lugano itself, I’ve never been to Switzerland. I’m game!
    Andy got through in 4. Blamed cramping and the heat in the third.

  4. Trust you Jude to discover this round the corner from me, when all I can do is lament the fact that San Fran is far away and that on my last visit to San Francisco Botanical Garden for the visually impaired, which sounds a lot like the Jardin at Yvoire, the flowers were not in bloom and nor were there any seeds available. And they don’t sell them, oddly enough, either…Great story lovely fountain, will need to drive down there one weekend now, it’s a great season to do so!

    1. If I was to emulate one part of this garden it would be the hearing garden. I sat there for a while watching and listening to the cheeky sparrows bathing in the bird bath/fountain. It was so relaxing. Of course the smell and taste comes a close second – now that one I can attempt to replicate on a small scale.

      1. You know Jude, I think every garden space, if it’s to be successful, must consider the five senses. Mmm and even the sixth sense

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