Wednesday, April 4, 2007
"Talkin' Bout my Generation" and a Garden?
For my multitasking, often celebrity obsessing, and over achieving generation, it is rare that any of us can find the time or the ability to appreciate the simple pleasures that a garden has to offer. For Father Tom Lucas, a professor at the University of San Francisco, he had a similar mindset as a young adult, yet something began to change as the years progressed, “when I turned 40, gardening started making sense to me,” said Father Lucas. Since then, Father Lucas has acquired quite the green thumb, as he maintains the secret garden that graces the rear grounds of the Jesuit’s Loyola House.
The garden boasts a sporadic collection of flowers, cactus plants, and trees (one lemon). “We have a lot of agaves. Were not going to make tequila out of them, there isn’t enough,” said Father Lucas. It features a large fountain that takes you out of the chaos of the city and comfortably situates you into the tranquility of this well kept secret. “The sound of the water makes all the difference,” added Father Lucas. Yet, most impressive, is the jaw-dropping view that overlooks Laurel Heights, the shallow bay waters, and just barely the Golden Gate Bridge as it peaks it's famous red arches over the hills of the Presidio. “We wanted to maximize the view potential,” said Father Lucas. By maximizing the view potential and by designing the garden to have three main areas, a patio, a meditation zone, and a seating area (where counseling sessions often take place) the Jesuits use the garden as a place for relaxation and reflection. “Gardens give you breathing room,” said Father Lucas. “Gardens give you mental room.”
And at a time and in a city where “breathing room” comes at a rare expense I found myself constantly wondering as I meandered along the shrub lined paths, “why keep it secret?” But the answer seemed nearly as clear as the sunny spring day, many students could and would appreciate the beauty of the garden yet it would only take a select few to disvalue its splendor and ruin it for everyone. So as my generation and I matures, I happily await the calming afternoons of, as Father Lucas put it, "weeding and watering."