Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around. – Henry David Thoreau
I love anticipating the beautiful Japanese gardens at Cal State Long Beach. I can see the cherry blossom trees almost ready to bloom. I can see the large fish swim underwater. I can smell the eucalyptus. I appreciate the Bonsai trees, carefully bred in miniture shapes to look like tall trees. We would never know they were co-created over hundreds of years by human imagination.
Walking inside, a traditional pagoda welcomes me. It is shaped like a bell and surrounded by high grass. Passing through another entryway, I see two Japanese lions, one female, and one male, each made of gray stone.
The garden is such a peaceful place. The view of plum trees and azalea bushes frames the lake. Underneath the stillness of the lake, I watch large, colorful koi swim. As I walk, there is a traditional Japanese gate that is made of teak wood. Plum trees in their beautiful rose colors, white and pink frame the gate. There is so much that is alive here.
I see college students laughing and feeding fish. A single, beautiful locus flower grows in the center of the lake, surrounded by wet lily pads. I feel the weeping willow blow in the breeze. A white butterfly circles the willow tree. I admire a rock garden with smooth, small stones dipping down to the lake.
Everything is here. In this natural environment, water, fish, ducks, stones, reeds, dragonflies, and trees coexist. Nothing is wasted. Everything is in a perfect ecosystem. I know that all is well with the world in this peaceful Japanese garden.
And so it must be with us, because we can cultivate along with God or Nature, or the Universe anything our lives need to be happy, have meaning, be peaceful, and to be fully alive.