I originally had a full day planned for February 25th. For one, it is a day to celebrate the life of a man who became the God of Academia in my homeland, and shrines enshrining him usually hold a festival on this day, so I thought I would go check it out at the nearest shrine.
For another, the shrine is located within walking distance from the town hall, which hold an event called “International Cultural Exchange Festival” on the last Saturday of February every year, which fell on the 25th this year, so I thought I would go take a peek at some of the domestic and foreign cultures being displayed… at the very least, but most importantly, tea service.
And since right next to the town hall is a municipal garden famous for plum blossoms, flowers that the God of Academia loved, I thought I would round up the day by catching their scent and send it on easterly wind to my people in the Southwest affected by the big earthquakes last April.
Quite a full day to be, but well-planned, would you not say? Well, very unfortunately, none of it was put into action. I was feeling so drained and depleted, I could not find enough strength in me to get on my feet and go out, let alone go through with such a packed plan. And because I could not catch the sweet scent of the pretty plum blossoms, I had nothing to send this week to my people. I felt lost… lost for words, and lost of way to come back here.
As I make this post on March 18, 2017, I was going through some photos I had taken at this garden earlier, when I caught the sound of a flourish of trumpets, and found what I think I would have chosen to send to my people.
This is a plum tree planted at a little distance from the others, on the side of the path leading to where the others are. And because it is still a young tree, about the same height as me and with less blossoms than the older trees, quite a few pass by it without ever noticing. Were the gardeners being mean to this tree, making it look (to those who do notice it) like a lost child looking for parents?
No, there is a reason why it is planted where it stands. The name tag (on the bottom right in the photo), when read aloud, is pronounced the same way as the word for “guidepost,” but the direct translation of the Chinese characters means “friends on the road,” i.e., travel buddies. The name is said to have come from the fact that they used to be planted on the side of roads in the olden days, for travelers to be able to distinguish which paths to take and be accompanied by pretty, fragrant blossoms throughout their journey.
So, this tree, even though it is still young and with limited abilities, is standing proud where it is, learning to be a reliable travel buddy to those who come to see the plum blossoms in this garden. We, too, are still inexperienced in responding to the needs and wishes of the affected, but we know how important it is for them to find as many travel buddies as possible who will walk alongside every step of the way in their journey to recovery.
Maybe you can join me in sending travel buddies to my people?
As with all but one previous get well messages which started with sending flower power, you need not do anything special or extraordinary. Only that, if you have a reliable travel buddy, person or thing, in your trips to somewhere or journey in life to wherever, you would kindly share them with my people.
Maybe you can take a snapshot of your travel buddy and post it on your site?
And maybe you can let me know by leaving a comment?
Once again, you are not asked to go out of your way – you most likely do not have to travel far to find your travel buddy anyway, since they are always with you every step of the way!
Thank you to everyone, old and new, who stops by to read through my post(s). You are undoubtedly my guideposts and travel buddies in my journey here. Without your pretty likes and fragrant comments you have been providing me along the way, I could not have found my way back!