December 19, 2021

Autumn leaves in the garden of Obai-in (Engaku-ji)

Autumn leaves in the garden of Obai-in (Engaku-ji)


The colorful autumn-leaves, which are past their prime and have begun to dry up, are continuing to scatter and fall one after another in the cutting north-wind. Before I visit this quiet garden next time, these leaves will have disappeared from view completely.

Sensing the subtle transition of the seasons, living things continue to change their lives every moment according to their cycles of birth, death and rebirth. 

The deciduous trees, which have worn thick greens, shed all their died leaves to endure the winter and secretly prepare for regrowth in the next spring.

Under the eyes of the small wooden statue of Sho-Kannon, the endless cycle of death and rebirth keeps turning silently without being known to anyone. 



Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach

Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach


The sun is gradually sinking into the shadow of Izu Peninsula, while dazzling the evening sky and clouds with its brilliant golden rays.

The dark blue sky above the gray lower clouds is studded with the fragments of shredded silver clouds, which are shining like countless nebulas in the interstellar space.

As the quietness of the night slowly intensifies, the iron-blue surface of the sea, which is gently undulating with the low-pitched sounds of the winds and waves, is reflecting the dull golden glow of the setting sun.

The light-tower on the top of Enoshima Island has just begun to slowly emit its flash lights to warn of the imminent falling of darkness.



Autumn leaves: Engaku-ji (Obai-in)

Autumn leaves: Engaku-ji (Obai-in)


Although it is early in the afternoon, the sun has begun to decline too soon, shedding its ashen-gray light over this small shady garden.

Outside the old wooden gate, in the bright slanting rays of the sun, the autumn leaves are glowing dazzlingly like the setting sun of the midsummer.

The cold air and stillness of winter are beginning to dominate this garden. The flaming colors of the autumn leaves are secretly sneaking up through the gate, but they cannot warm the chillness of this garden any longer.


Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach

Evening glow and sky: Zaimokuza-beach


Thanks to the calmness of the sea breeze, the cumulus clouds are staying quietly in the dark blue evening sky. 

The cinnabar afterglow of the sun above the horizon keeps on shining and the numerous layers of clouds are tinted with the various shades of sunset colors.

Until the afterglow reaches its peak and then fades into darkness, the endless sky and ocean, which are colored with rich tones of the sunken sun, remain surrounding me. 

The gentle sound of waves rushing ashore continues reaching to me like the eternal heartbeats of the universe.



Autumn leaves in the garden of the Shariden Hall: Engaku-ji

Autumn leaves in the garden of the Shariden Hall: Engaku-ji


In the front garden of the Shariden (reliquary hall), the brightly colored maple leaves are shining like a sacred torch in the afternoon sun as if to silently reveal the endless compassionate heart of Buddha enshrined in this hall.

From the small Zen-do (Zen meditation hall) located on the right, the deep voices of sutra chanted by the young ascetic monks, who are praying for the deliverance of all living things from their suffering and pain, are sounding low in this small wooded valley.



Evening seascape: Zaimokuza-beach

Evening seascape: Zaimokuza-beach

 

Reflections of autumnal colors: Engaku-ji

Reflections of autumnal colors: Engaku-ji

 

Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach

Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach

 

Autumn leaves in the garden of Hyaku Kannon

Autumn leaves in the garden of Hyaku Kannon

 

Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach

Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach

 

Evening glow: Morito-beach (Hayama)

Evening glow: Morito-beach (Hayama)

 

Mt.Fuji in evening glow: Morito-beach (Hayama)

Mt.Fuji in evening glow: Morito-beach (Hayama)

 

Autumn leaves: Engaku-ji

Autumn leaves: Engaku-ji

 

Seascape: Zaimokuza-beach

Seascape: Zaimokuza-beach

 

Autumnal colors: Engaku-ji

Autumnal colors: Engaku-ji

 

Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach

Evening glow: Zaimokuza-beach

 

December 6, 2021

Autumn leaves: Eisho-ji

Autumn leaves: Eisho-ji


The flaming colors of the autumn leaves, which are brightly decorating the modest sanctum of this old Buddhist nunnery, are made look more gorgeous by the greenish-blue of the copper-sheathed roof of the small temple gate.

As winter deepens, the rapid drop in temperature causes deciduous trees to stop supplying water to their leaves. In the dehydrated leaves, their chlorophyll turns into bright-color pigments. The discolored and dried leaves eventually fall to the ground in the cold winter wind. They are quickly decomposed by microorganisms and absorbed into the soil as the rich nutrients for the next spring.

The wonder and beauty of the autumnal leaves may imply the profound and hidden intent of our universe that keeps creating life on Earth everlastingly.
 


Autumn leaves: Kaizo-ji

Autumn leaves: Kaizo-ji


Under the pale gray sky, the bright autumn leaves are quietly waiting for cold wintry blasts to scatter and fall to the ground. 

Soon, the pleasant colors of flowers will almost disappear from view and the desolate wintry scene will continue long until next spring comes.

On the side of the narrow stone steps leading up to the humble garden of this temple, the small magenta flowers of Sazanka (Camellia sasanqua) are inconspicuously blooming as if to silently bid farewell to the late autumn which is leaving hastily.