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“Look, life and death!” Said the friend.
I see a thin trunk attached to what looks like, a dead piece of wood.
Then one of the workers tells us that the dead wood is more than 750
years of age, and was painted white to prevent termites.
The staff have then joined our discussion saying
that all the wood that is displayed here are at
least 250 years old, and that it was priceless!
The amazing skill of the horticulturists assist the bonsai in growing
around the deadwood. White dead wood is not representative of death
but of the problems and obstacles that get in our way in everyday
life. Suddenly I realized- this is similar to the challenges
that we face in our lives.
The challenges that are in our lives follow us like shadows,
surrounding and winding around us. These conditions are around us
constantly, challenging us both mentally and spiritually. Though
these hardships are difficult to deal with, they help determine who we
are. When we overcome these challenges, we are stronger people.
Life comes out from a tiny seed, slowly budding into a small tree.
The bonsai accepts the challenge, growing up into an amazing tree.
It brings the hope of growing and maybe one day in the future,
these trees will become a forest.
On the way home, the friend asked what I have learned.
“From the bonsai, I learned about life, appreciated the artistry of
the craft, and I was enlightened by the philosophy of life the bonsai
brings forth.” I then summarized the following:
“Life is like a rainbow- the more you chase it the farther away it
is. Like the bonsai, we stay present, work through our challenges
and through them we grow stronger. A bud today becomes a branch
tomorrow and possibly a forest in the future. Life goes on.”