We were going to go for a walk up at Powell Butte yesterday, but it’s closed unless we wanted to walk all the way up and back. Nope. So instead we decided to go to Main Street Park in downtown Gresham since it was on the way home. And boy, were we glad we did!
Why? Aside from the fact that it’s a nice park and has a nice walking path around it? Because…this:
What? We had absolutely no idea that this was even here! Tsuru is the Japanese word for “crane”.
This is the entrance to the park.
The bridge was so welcoming, its curved lines so soothing as opposed to so many harsh straight lines in our lives.
As we stepped into the lovely garden, I could feel some of the tension begin to leave my body.
As is typical of Japanese gardens, there were little alcoves where we could sit and meditate, or rest, or just simple be. You can see that even the bench has a slightly curved shape, and so restful to my eyes.
Even the path stones were calming in appearance.
There was an area where we could go to see the creek running. The path was really steep, though, so we stayed up at the top.
There was another area off to the right of the trail down to the water.
Beauty was everywhere, and not always what you’d expect. If we are aware and walk slowly, and have eyes to see, we get to see this kind.
There’s the trail down to the water.
Everywhere, there were invitations to sit and absorb the surroundings.
This concrete lantern was tucked away inside another area.
And nearby, a peaceful gazebo. As we were walking up to it, a couple came from another part of the garden and let us pass by, social distancing. We exchanged pleasant words with them; it was their first time in the garden, too, and they were enjoying it as much as we were.
Maybe AFK can translate the Kanji (?) for me. The path led to another bridge.
From the bridge we could see where a small creek might flow during the winter. It was easy to tell that all the plantings had been done with care, which created feelings of harmony and peace.
I could see myself sitting and knitting here. Or reading. Or doing nothing at all but enjoying my surroundings. The entire garden is an invitation to do just that.
I saw this pop of color; another wonderful surprise.
This path led us closer to the water. Birdsong was everywhere, a wonderful musical backdrop on our journey. These bamboo fences were scattered throughout our walk.
See what I mean about harmonious plantings? There were so many colors and textures grouped together to create the harmony.
This path led to the left from the gazebo.
We wished this water feature had been working; we’ll check it out again next time.
The creators of this lovely garden had such an eye for inviting places. Others may have used straight lines, which, in my opinion, would have detracted from the overall feeling of peace.
I think it would be really wonderful to sit here with my spinning wheel.
We then headed back to the entrance.
This is the entrance bridge from the other direction. I plan to come back here in the Fall, and then again next Spring, to see all the variations of color.
Outside the garden, in the park, we came across this sign. Our property has been designated as a Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat; it took me a long time to fill out all of the forms, but it was worth it. I had to show what we had in the way of food, shelter, and water for our wildlife friends, and we have an official certification number from the National Wildlife Federation.
We walked along the path that goes around the park. There were a number of people relaxing throughout the area, but we didn’t have any trouble social distancing.
Shortly before we made the turn to head back to our car, I saw this robin with a huge worm in his beak.
This was a lovely way to end our serendipitous journey to a place we’d never been before. We will be back! Maybe next time we’ll see a Heron or a Tsuru!
I LOVE Japanese gardens; what a wonderful find!
I know! You can be sure I’ll be posting more photos. Thanks for stopping by.
Wow! In Gresham??!!! What a lovely surprise! Your pictures really captured the beauty and serenity, and not having mobs of people was a bonus! Will have to look for it next time I’m in Portland! Now I wish to see YOUR backyard! Awesome
Mahalo nui! Yeah, in the middle of Gresham. Now you know how surprised we were to find it.
What a beautiful place! Just looking at your pictures made me feel happy and relaxed.
I’m so glad! And like Michelle said, it was wonderful not having hordes of people there. I think most of them were walking up and down at Powell Butte!
Oh my GOODNESS Moki-chan, that’s so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
You’re right–that is kanji. The second one reads “katsu” (it’s the second kanji in the word “seikatsu” which means “life,”) but I need my dictionary at home to make out the first kanji and tell you what the word means. Will report back later.
Oh, mahalo nui! Thanks for looking up the rest of the meaning later. I think that I could see something different even if I go back every week! What a hidden gem.
So! The word is “fukkatsu,” which means revival, rebirth, and resurrection! “Fukkatsusai” is loosely translated as “resurrection festival,” or Easter!
The other thing I found particularly interesting was the water feature. That basin is called a “tsukubai,” and when water is flowing (and there are no rocks in the basin), the water is used to purifying one’s hands and mouth when visiting a temple (or tea ceremony room). I can’t quite make out the kanji, but it looks like a replica of a famous tsukubai at Ryoanji, a very famous temple in Kyoto. The square hole in the middle is very cleverly used as part of the kanji, and the four kanji (starting at the top and going clockwise: 吾, 唯, 足, 知), when read together, can be loosely translated as “I am content with what I have.” (Google “zenibachi tsukubai Ryoanji” and you’ll find a good article.)