5 May 2014
Malta truly has some unexpected surprises. This weekend the sun was shining and a couple of friends and I decided to jump in the car for a drive. We headed towards Santa Lucija located in the south of Malta and decided to spend a few hours in the Chinese Garden of Serenity.
What is a Chinese Garden you ask? Chinese gardens are landscaped to represent a complete world of balance, and are to encourage people to roam freely with their inner thoughts, offering spontaneity and surprise rather than symmetry.
In this particular garden rocks and water play two very important elements. The water symbolises the flow of thought and contemplation while the rocks symbolise matter and manifestation. They also represent the complementary opposites of yin and yang, the yielding feminine energy and the strong masculine energy.
Every part of the garden, the fountains, a bamboo garden, the zig-zag pathways, numerous bridges and different types of doors are symbolically placed to represent life, from birth to death.
Once you’re in the garden it becomes quite apparent that the gardens are actually separate areas distinguished by walls. Each secluded spot offers the visitor a different mood and an opportunity to meditate on thoughts and feelings that may arise. Whether you are spiritually in tune or not, you are guaranteed to feel something within the Chinese Garden of Serenity.
One area of the garden that caught my imagination was a space that represented death. A hole in the earth in which rocks and water enter, and in which you can see your own reflection. A gentle reminder that all things must come to pass.
The only way to truly understand the intricacies and symbolism of this garden is to visit and feel for yourself, or simply enjoy its unique beauty and wonder!
Author: Sabine Jung