February 11, 2019
The pale winter sunlight of the westering sun is streaming into the silent bamboo grove and the bamboo stalks are casting their long shadows on the cold ground which is thickly covered with the dead leaves.
In this wintry garden, every living thing is waiting patiently for the return of the gentle spring sunlight which will awaken it up from deep winter sleep.
The fallen leaves quietly keep decaying to provide fertile soil for the lively resurgence of life in the prime of the year.
In the seasons which rotate ceaselessly, all the living and lifeless things of nature are harmoniously woven into the distinctive scenery from each time of the year.
The further winter deepens, the nearer spring approaches. In the freezing air of midwinter, I saw small flower buds enduring coldness on the dry leafless branches of apricot trees.
The fallen leaves have gathered at the feet of the moss-covered image of Kanzeon Bosatsu, which is staring steadily at these decaying leaves while giving them a warm merciful smile.
Just underneath the cold ground, innumerable microorganisms are zealously wriggling and working without cease to decompose dead plant and animal tissues and to recycle their nutrients for the awakening and rebirth of life in the coming spring.