Let us go on a journey, you and I.
We begin at the entrance to a Japanese tea garden.
It is springtime. The cool moss welcomes us.
We walk along the path, admiring the views.
We meet our guide,
who tells us that
the path is the purpose
of the journey.
The goal is not the tea.
The goal is a state of inner calm
that we attain
from walking the path.
We walk past the house.
We are leaving the known behind. Our journey is far longer than this.
Garden detail, Kyoto, Honshu, Japan
The stepping stones continue,
leading us further onwards
They continue over water. It has gotten warmer. Is it summer now?
Will the water ever end? And another surprise – the glory of fall leaves.
It is so awkward to cross using these stones.
We have a hard time admiring the scenery
because we have to watch our feet.
And then we think
– who set these stones?
Who had to get wet
so that we could be dry?
Even though it seems we are alone,
there are many signs
that there were others
The path leaves the lake and takes us to a forest.
The air is cool on our bare arms.
We smell the crisp green pines,
hear the distant songs
of unseen birds.
We see stone stairs,
They are leading us to a large red gate.
Our guide tells us this is a Torii gate,
to mark the difference between
there, and here.
To mark sacred space.
This is no barrier,
it keeps no one out.
It simply alerts you to a shift,
Is it the land,
that is different now?
We see other gates shortly after this one.
The gates continue,
wave after wave of them.
They are like immense bells,
ringing over and over,
reminding us to be here,
that we are here,
be present in this moment,
And yet we are still not at our destination.
The path continues over more water,
but thankfully there is a bridge this time.
We are still stunned by all those gates.
Where are we being led to?
Who has prepared this way for us?
The path continues into another forest.
While the path goes upwards,
the air gets misty
and the trees grow closer together.
They are so close together
that they arch overhead,
making a cathedral.
And now there is snow.
Will wonders never cease?
Wasn’t it spring just a moment ago?
How long have we been walking?
Look, ahead – there is a house. The path leads right to it.
Our guide leads us to it,
telling us that this is our destination,
yet it is not the end of the journey.
We push open the unlocked door
and walk inside.
We continue upwards,
Now the stairs twist and curl,
like ribbons on a birthday present,
like a double helix,
like the beginning and the end.
We reach a landing.
Further stairs are ahead.
Someone has lit candles for us.
What is at the top?
The same that was at the beginning.
We have brought our
We have found our
(all pictures are from Pinterest)