|Pink for love? Delicate Mussaenda at the entrance to the garden walk|
But places of peace - as close as we may be to heaven on earth - are not without discord, discontent or differences - that is to say, life. And a garden - be it Eden or the Elysian fields - can be made anywhere. In the heart of a concrete jungle. Within the walls of a forest. By the sea. Next to an airport.
|Hummingbirds love these golden bunches|
Today, the village includes garden rooms entered by pathways of palms, forest vines, heliconias, fruit trees and flowering shrubs. Hummingbirds and birdsong are everywhere. Bluejays and bananaquits chase each other through the branches. And cockricos, Tobago's national bird, flap from tree to tree, to roost unsteadily on the highest branches.
|Ajoupa of Peace|
|View across the ajoupa's polished floor|
Centre of the holistic practice is the towering ajoupa with the sheen of its polished floor luring you to spreadeagle and contemplate the roof. The thatched long room invites you to rock to the breezes in a hammock. And the forest pool and waterfall, shaded by traveller's palms, will wake you up.
|Secluded forest pool and waterfall|
|... shaded by traveller's palms|
|Water falling into a fish pond for contemplation|
|Shy koi, elusive skeins of slipping silk, a living tapestry|
Four days in the garden - whose origin we witnessed in 1981 - are a timely celebration of marriage at the end of the 30th year. It's been a place for contemplation and contentment, a punctuation point, as we continue the journey. Who knows what comes around the next bend. Heaven or hell, it's all here in a garden, as in a marriage, with everything in-between, a lesson in impermanence, continuity, ceaseless change. Who needs an after-life when there's this?
|Into the bush?|
|Luise Kimme's Tobagonian mother and child|
|If you believe in signs, you can see them everywhere:|
heart shaped leaves for love!