28 April 2010

Garden Party

Meditation Garden under the Oaks, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Charleston, S.C.

I love it when folks throw a party and I am allowed to invite my best friends - even if I do rope them all into helping. I was so excited to meet a fellow blogger I had invited when I learned of her interest in meditation labyrinths. Charlotte Hutson Wrenn writes the Charleston through an Artist's Eye blog. Charlotte is in the first picture below second from the left in the white shirt. It was a delight to meet her!

In this case the hospital I work at was celebrating the completion of the beautiful Meditation Garden under the oaks in front of our hospital and the completion of a full size hand carved statue of Jesus. The statue was carved by an artist in Ohio, transported to Charleston and installed by stone carvers from the School of the Building Arts. It's been quite a production.

Designed to fully engage the senses, the Meditation Garden takes you on an inward journey enhanced by fragrant lavender, rosemary and tea olive, by peaceful sounds of cascading water and wind chimes and the various textures of stone. In keeping with the cathedral motif, the garden is comprised of four “sanctuaries” or smaller garden rooms, which one enters through a small circular cloister garden and the Grand Portal (or narthex) and then through smaller portals. The sanctuaries include the Prayer Garden, the Camellia Garden, the Labyrinth and finally the Christ Statue Garden, which lies on an axial view from the narthex, framed by oaks, as if the cathedral’s “altar.”

The Meditation Garden, including the Labyrinth, is wheelchair friendly, welcoming all patients and guests.

This evening the garden was formally opened with a reception for donors and guests. The community is invited to enjoy the space on Saturday, May 1st from 1 - 3 p.m. Y'all are welcome to come.