One cold night, spent listening to the gentle fall of raindrops,
Opened the door next morning, found leaves fallen from treetops. [my translation]
This is one of my favourite poems from old Chinese writings. It is interpreted to depict a moment of enlightenment, finding out that the sound thought to be heard in darkness as rainfall was really the sound of leaves falling with clear vision. But, to be honest, I have not truly understood this metaphor… so I simply like it for the imagery: a colourful carpet of fallen leaves spreading after rain, only seen around this time of the year.
It was a very cold night last night, and I fell asleep listening to the sound of the rainfall. So when I woke up this morning, this poem instantly came to my mind and I felt the urge to find the scenery that matched the image. And I immediately thought of this garden in the neighbouring district:
It is quite young (built only twenty-five years ago) and much smaller compared to the other gardens I have mentioned in this blog, but it is certainly no less in beauty! It is so because it was built by condensing what my people generally believe to be beautiful.
In the above photo, one might imagine drifting slowly on a boat (can you see the rocks placed in a boat-like arrangement in the centre right?) in tranquil waters, heading to the right where there is a gazebo by the pond…
… to sit quietly and enjoy the main building and its reflection in the water…
… or turn to the left and cross the splashing waterfalls…
… and climb the rocky mountains…
… to find calmness beneath while standing atop roughness.
These sceneries are not specific to any one region of my homeland, but they somehow remind us all of our hometowns and let us fly back home in a flash in our minds. By learning to build gardens that are miniatures of what we understand to be the essence of beauty of our hometowns, my people have come up with a way to keep home fresh in our memories even through destructions of and displacements away from home.
My people in the regions affected by the big earthquakes back in mid-April are suffering from destructions of and displacements away from home for a prolonged period. It may be getting increasingly difficult to remember what home looked like. But although there are no exact replicas of their home, there are many miniatures that can remind them of what it feels like to return home, and I wish to send one to them this week.
Maybe you can join me in sending miniatures of home sweet home to my people?
As with other previous get well messages which started with sending flower power, I am not asking anything special or extraordinary of you. Only that, if you have a little something that always reminds you of your home, you would kindly share it with my people.
Maybe you can take a snapshot of your miniature of home sweet home and post it on your site?
And maybe you can let me know by leaving a comment?
Once again, there is no need for you to go out of your way – you probably keep it very near and dear, so I am sure you will not have to look far out the door. And oh, as for the scenery that matches the image of the poem first mentioned, what do you think of this?
A drift of fallen maple leaves forming a colourful carpet
Thank you to all my visitors for stopping by to read through my post(s). I cannot promise to provide moments of enlightenment, but I hope to greet you with a colourful carpet made of droplets of my thoughts every time you come through my door!