Walk through a garden hundreds of years old upon stones worn smooth as bone. Eyelash softness of cherry blossoms brush the air free of dust and settle among the stones. Hundreds of years of rain, storm, and sun push a grandfather pine away from his chosen place but he responds with the stubbornness of time. He remains in place – contorted and bent and still.
How did the builder of this garden imagine his creation? Did he imagine that countless souls would walk through his garden over hundreds of years? Did he imagine that his garden would bring peace to those in need or solace to those alone? Would it bring envy? Would he have hoped that the stones laid in his time would be walked upon by millions of visitors, each with their own sense of time and place? Did he build a garden for history, or for the singular glory of his clan?
It is humbling to know that what is done at one time ripples through future times. A young tree planted on one day is admired and loved thousands of days later. On stones laid hundreds of years before walks each person wrapped in specific time. We can imagine, but we cannot know. We can walk through a garden as young as today or as old as yesterday and we can imagine, but we cannot know.
Cherry blossoms fall after only days in full bloom. We walk through an ancient garden once and feel the passage of time like warm sunlight shaded by a cloud.
Only time remains.