As I stroll down the Path of Philosophy in Japan, my perspective is refined.
My feet move forward in this serene surrounding, yet my body and mind want to wait.
I offer myself another moment.
I stand mesmerized by enchanted cherry trees with blossoms bowing to the gentle breeze.
I marvel at their pureness and how they explode with color.
As sunlight radiates down through the trees, it filters my mind.
I follow the light leading me through these woods, reminding
myself to be audacious as I step on each square stone.
I appreciate silence, society rushes me.
Concealed within this wondrous walk, while basking in freedom and fresh air,
I organize my reality and stay committed to my heart and natural surroundings.
Taking time to contemplate on wooden benches discovered along the way,
I understand being lost, yet found, is an art to all ages.
I respect this refuge, admiring the assortment of hues it presents.
Seeing symbolic significance, as the Sakura flowers emulate pink snowflakes, falling gently on the ground.
I delight in this visual and sensual treat, marking an end or a beginning to the next stage in life.
I am alive and awakened by how reflective a one-mile route can be.
I acknowledge the great sages.
I sense the meditative calm of Nishida Kitaro and the eagerness of Plato.
I observe an abundance of bumblebees, perhaps disguised as these ancient greats.
The confluence of their magical minds swarm around me.
I should decode their messages held in the hollow of aged cherry trees.
Relishing the rhythmic water stirring in the canal below, I recognize its
resemblance to my inner restlessness.
I discover bridges, which bring thinkers together with refuge on this communal route.
I no longer feel the void from life’s uncertainties, a smile and joy emerges inside and out.
Captivated by a whirl of confetti-like emotions, sprinkling like pink petals on the water,
I find a place of pure rejuvenation that will never fade.
As I snap mental pictures, I hope this spring tradition will last a lifetime.
I connect with the harmony and energy this path projects, feeling
relaxed and understanding my liberated presence.
I now recognize seasons change, that fragility of life exists, yet I feel whole again.
I feel awe and inspiration at my capacity to bloom at varying times in my life.
I have this long life to appreciate exquisite scenes from different pockets of the world and from within me.
To be aware of how infinitely connected we are is a gift.
As I glean philosophical wisdom from the past, I forge forward to the future.
Year after year, remembering the stroll down Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, in
the flowering season of my forty-second year.
Photo used with copyright permission.
Shannon Hogan Cohen has always had a special place in her heart for storytelling. She has a passion for life and learning which drives her appetite for adventure. She lives in Del Mar, California with her husband and two teenage boys.