March 29, 2020
Earlier than usual this year, the countless flowers of this old tree have just burst into full bloom in unison to hurriedly participate in the race for pollination in spring.
The bright white flowers, which look like the sacred lotus flowers floating in the air, seem to fill the blue sky above my head and are emitting their grace and fragrance for inviting the insects and birds which help pollinate these flowers.
As soon as the pollination is completed, the snowy petals of these magnificent flowers rapidly begin to decay and to fall one after another in the mild spring breeze.
March 11, 2020
In the spring garden flooded with the bright sunlight, trees and plants are silently competing with each other to grow lively here.
The pleasant fragrances of the living things just woken from their winter sleep are floating gently in the air to make me feel the joy of spring.
The pale pink flowers of Ume are surrounding the bronze statue of Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni Buddha) and are shining softly like the radiant light of great compassion which is emitted by this sacred image.
Before any other flower, Ume flowers begin blooming in the cold of February to silently announce the incoming of long-expected spring.
Under the wintry sky, these flowers come into bloom dignifiedly on the dried and bare branches and emit their faint but fragrant scent into the chilly air.
In East Asia, it is said that a precious flower of Ume symbolizes the image of an innocent and pure young lady because of its virtue of noble blooming.
In the front yard of the Hojo (main hall), an old Byakusin (Chinese juniper) tree is standing still in solitude for hundreds of years like a Zen monk who keeps meditating everlastingly.
Every spring, this aged tree bears a great number of humble yellow flowers as if to be grateful for the return of the beautiful season of regrowth.
According to the style of architecture of the Zen temples introduced by Sung of China, evergreen Byakusin trees are planted in the frontcourt of Butsu-den (Buddha hall) as the symbol of the state of perfect enlightenment.
February 24, 2020
The light magenta flowers of Kawazu-zakura have just come into full bloom to notify us of the arrival of long-awaited spring. In the warm sunlight from the bright blue sky, wintry gloom and chill cannot be felt any longer.
A Mejiro (silvereye) bird is absorbedly flying from flower to flower to suck the sweet nectar of these fresh flowers and to fully enjoy its precious share of this spring glory.
According to the ceaseless revolution of our planet earth around the sun, the seasons continue to rotate and everything keeps changing without any break.
Thanks to the air temperature and sunshine duration which increase day by day, various spring flowers start blooming hurriedly one after another.
The subtle and sweet fragrance emitted by these flowers stealthily spreads into the air to awake living things from their long winter sleep gently.
Soon an enormous number of new green leaves will emerge in unison and be sure to fill the world with their bright and lively colors of life.
The dead autumn leaves, which had flaming colors before, are gradually decomposed into dust by microorganisms on the ground and provide rich nutrients for the new birth of lives in springtime.
On the moss-covered slope, by the side of the decayed stumps, the vivid yellow flowers of Narcissus are blooming innocently like little children.
In the cycle of the seasons, the wheel of life is turning endlessly.
In front of the entrance to the Zen meditation hall, white Ume flowers are shining quietly in the serene sunlight of early spring.
The sacred image of Bhaisajyaguru (buddha able to cure all ills) enshrined in this hall is staring at every living thing which gradually comes to life again with the arrival of this beautiful season.
February 11, 2020
The cold and dryness of midwinter decrease moisture in the air and the diminishing of scattered sunlight brings the serene and clear seascape of Sagami Bay and Mt. Fuji.
Far beyond the gently waving sea, Mt. Fuji crowned with snow soars into the steel-blue sky dignifiedly.
On this side of the sacred mountain, the deep green silhouette of Enoshima Island is clearly sighted and the magenta flowers of winter camellia are quietly blooming to add warm color to this exquisite scenery.
In Japan, from the distant past, Mt. Fuji has been devoutly worshiped as the noble manifestation of Konohananosakuya-hime (cherry tree blossom blooming princess) who is a volcano goddess described in Japanese mythology.
Since ancient times, the figure of this magnificent stratovolcano has ever been inspiring the deepest feelings of awe and respect in those who see it.
This sacred volcano has been inactive since the early eighteenth century and has also been regarded as the holiest mountain for the ascetic practices of Shugendo (Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts).
January 26, 2020
The sun is about to sink behind the cape in the west and its slanting rays are coloring a pile of fleecy clouds across the sky with deep crimson of fire.
The reflection of evening glow is gently rippling on the calm sea-surface and is continuously changing its sparkles to adorn the seascape of sunset still more.
The drifting clouds arise and vanish every moment according to the unsteady flow of winds. The sea keeps undulating ceaselessly and reflecting the radiant glow in the sky which passes into nothingness soon.
All things must pass away and so these fascinating colors and tones of the sunset glow must disappear before long.
Through the breaks in the thick clouds, the golden rays of the sun are softly illuminating the calm surface of the sea like the tender light of compassion arriving from somewhere high in the sky.
Shortly the shady twilight will dominate here and quiet down the blaze of colors which is spreading as far as the horizon.
Before disappearing below the horizon, the setting sun is quietly emitting its last flickering flame into the air.
In the sky into which the scattered light is diffusing, the gray cumulus clouds are being carried away by the chill wind, changing their shapes constantly.
People standing at the water's edge are gazing steadfastly after the sun which is vanishing far across the sea.
The nightfall is closing in fleetly.