Watching others being happy always makes me smile. My heart sings to see people laugh.
As I stroll through the Botanical Gardens I come across a large group of men and women singing, clapping and playing what appears to be a Mandarin version of Charades. A company team building event perhaps? Seems to be, as one man in the group is clearly coordinating the game, calling who goes next, ticking names off a list and giving each player a little peak at the title of their ‘charade’. Raucous laughter rings out. The happy shenanigans attracts quite a crowd of amused onlookers, visitors to the gardens who have, like me, stopped to bathe in the group’s enjoyment. It’s infectious. Lighthearted rivalry between the sexes.
As I sit my eyes wander to take in families with small children, singles and couples walking dogs – dogs galore – young lovers holding hands, a beyond elderly lady, spine deeply bent, being pushed in her wheelchair by a dutiful son; a wedding party in the ginger garden restaurant, dressed to the nines, gamely donning masks as no doubt requested on the invitations. Families kick brightly coloured footballs on the spiky grass and young dads teach their young sons how to hold a racket and bat a ball. Prams are pushed and scooters are scooted.
The air feels light and a cool breeze gently washes over us all. The dusky garden is busy, visited by locals and tourists alike and yet, despite the numbers, the buzz of chatter and laughter and distant voices, the atmosphere is soft, calm and easy. A lovely place and moment in time to find myself. The gardens are serene. The energy feels good. A delicious scent of frangipani wafts through the air. A small water fountain gurgles behind me. This is one of my favourite places.
The light is dimming. I must be on my way. After all, I’m simply passing through.