Exploring the Gardens (haibun)



Exploring The Gardens


It is a hot day. Instead of catching a bus and heading home, I decide to go the long way and walk through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. I haven’t been here since the earthquakes. Today is not a good day for me. My heart is troubled. I can’t stop thinking about her for some reason. She has been in my thoughts all day and I am full of sadness, regret, and pain. I hope wandering the Gardens might take my mind off her. So I go through the gate trying to lose myself in nature, but wherever I go I take her with me.


wandering the Botanic Gardens

stuck with you

in my thoughts




Entering the Rose Garden I immediately see to my left a woman seated on the ground scoffing down food. She sees my glance and carries on munching. I head towards the sundial in the center of the garden. I know it is an hour later than what the sundial is saying, and remember when I posed for a picture at this exact spot with my brother and sister when I was a teenager. I then trip on the steps in front of two American tourists who stop their endless talking to smirk at me. There are roses of all colours in this garden, but the deep red roses are the ones that catch my attention.  I want to look at some in greater detail, but a couple are taking pictures of themselves in front of them. I flag it and leave them behind me.


sundial –

the sun not catching up

with Daylight Saving


I head in the direction of the Water Garden with native plants and trees. On my way to the bridge there is a seemingly endless line of Chinese tourists going the other way. I do my best to move forward, but try to not get in their way. Eventually they all pass me by and I get to the little arched bridge made of stone. I’m dehydrated due to the relentless heat, but my body insists moving on. I pass sprinklers and let the water hit me so I can cool down. I lose myself down dark paths of ferns and tall trees looming in shadow.


water garden

Chinese tourists

flowing past me


I’m aimlessly wandering now. I hope to find a gateway to another world amongst the oaks, sycamores, and silver birches. A few months ago I desperately wanted to leave this world behind, but I have healed a lot since then, yet part of me still wants to leave. In my tiredness I resolve to keep on moving and begin the journey home. I turn around and seek a path that follows the Avon and then cross the bridge that leads to the daffodil garden, which would be more colourful in the springtime. I survey the Gardens one last time from the Memorial Rotunda. Then I head along Hagley Park towards Riccarton and home.


homeward bound –

my spirit renewed

my feet sore



Joanne Fisher




I’ve come down with a head cold, and it’s almost summer here… My head feels like it’s full of cotton wool at the moment.


This was originally posted on my blog in December 2017.



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©2020 Joanne Fisher


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