Bamboo has been on my gardener's most hated list since I declared war against it's invasion into one of our previous lawns. To say that it is aggressive is an understatement. It's a daily battle, one night you'd go to bed and your lawn would be free and clear of the stuff, the next morning you'd have a 2 foot tall bamboo shoot coming up out of the middle of your lawn. A good 15 yards from the closest source.
Today, after months of trying to coordinate two very busy schedules, a friend who lives in Kamakura (sooooo jealous) took me to the Hokokuji Temple which is known for it's beautiful bamboo garden. The bamboo here is larger than anything I've ever seen and suddenly this garden nemesis of mine transformed itself into a beauty – the light playing off of the bamboo ridges, shadows cast by the stands of bamboo and the wind rustling through the tops with the leaves gently falling down around us like light rain. It was peaceful, serene, lovely.
In Japanese culture bamboo is a symbol of longevity, because it always has green shoots (you know, the ones I was always pulling up out of my lawn in Maryland) and strength and grace – because no matter the storm, bamboo will bend but it will not break. The straight stem represents the path to enlightenment and the segments of the stem the steps along the way. Today, I had a minor epiphany – that it's important to look beyond the immediacy of what's giving you fits and to realize it may be part of the process, just one step along the way in the journey you've taken. I'm still not sure where this journey I've started will take me, some days it's challenging to sit down and make a blog entry - no time, kids with homework take priority on the computer and bump me - other days the entries come easily, but today I realized that each entry is like a segment in the stem of the bamboo, just one single step on this path I have taken and for me that's ... inspiring.
Tips for Tokyo Summer Travelers
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