Never Underestimate a Buddha with a Paper Parasol

Today was a good day.  A last morning to explore Singapore.

The rains stopped as we drove along in a taxi with Lord Buddha, shaded by a paper parasol, on the dashboard.  Perhaps the break in the weather was merely Buddha acting out of self-interest, determined to keep his parasol dry.   I like to imagine though, that it may have been more that. Perhaps it was also a simple blessing from Buddha as we set off on another adventure. Either way, I figure you should never underestimate a Buddha with a paper parasol.

Whatever his intent, Buddha kept us company as we made our way to the Gardens by the Bay, which were simply fantastic.  So much work has gone into them…so many plant species artfully planted and cared for.  It was amazing.  And there was a touch of whimsy here and there as well with folk art and sculpture embedded in the botanical splendor.   Overall it conveyed an sense of a well-conceived and wholistic vision.

The flower dome and the cloud forest were climate controlled, massive greenhouses that sheltered everything from succulents to exotic orchids to amazing “lost world” creations made from Legos.    They also afforded incredible views of the city around us.  Words can’t  really do the gardens justice but the pics will give an idea.  Enjoy them here, if you’d like.  

The educational dimension was as impressive as the natural beauty.  The Gardens highlight the fragility of the ecosystems that sustain the incredible diversity of life contained within this relatively small biosphere by the bay.   It was message that the many children visiting the Gardens need to here  

It was a reminder as well that many of these species will be lost if those of us who are at the top of the food chain don’t find a way to redress the environmental disasters we have helped to  unleash.

Overall, I don’t know if Singapore is an environmemntal leader, but I have to applaud what they have done in the Gardens, which are more than just a tourist attraction.  They are a reminder of what is at stake and a wake-up call for all.  And I’m impressed that Singapore has prioritized the preservation of green spaces throughout the city, that trees still line the boulevards, and that electric cars and other environmentally responsible steps, seem to be part of their plan for the future.

The Gardens by the Bay were a wonderful way to spend a morning.  Buddha and his parasol got us off to a great start.

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