A tale about getting lost might involve taking the wrong train, having a lousy navigator beside you, or leaving the compass at home. It could also mean losing one’s mind in the moment, being absorbed in a stunning painting or architectural style, momentarily forgetting who you are and where you are. There have been many moments in my life when that is true. Getting physically lost can be exciting, frightening or frustrating, but generally if you keep on going you always arrive somewhere. Getting lost spiritually however can be a similar journey of discovery.
It was hot. October, but feeling more like mid-summer with the sun kissing my skin and a soft breeze floating offshore. The lake was like a mirror reflecting the clouds and the boats bobbing in the little marina. The majority of the crowd disembarked from the ferry and made their way to one of the two nearby restaurants on the quayside. I watched them melt away before making my decision to explore first and eat later.
In immense anticipation I made my way through the narrow streets of the beautiful medieval village to “Le Labyrinthe Jardin des Cinq Sens,” (the Garden of Five Senses) and my “raison d’être” for visiting Yvoire.
In an oasis of tranquillity you can smell, touch, contemplate, listen and taste. The garden is divided into rooms where you can connect with flavours, fragrances and textures. Gently touch the furry quince or spiky heads of the teasels; smell the chocolate cosmos and rub the apple-scented pelargonium leaves between your thumb and fingers; study the glacial-blue of a clematis, the considered planting of deep pink asters amongst paler pink Japanese anemones; nibble spearmint, chocolate mint or a sprig of rosemary and listen to the birds splashing cheerfully in the bird bath in the centre of the maze of hornbeams.
As I relaxed on a bench, undisturbed, the sun burning two copper discs on my retina, I drifted into another world; lost in contemplation as my senses reached out to nature, the babbling water and incessant birdsong mingling in the background.