Today, visiting my umpteenth Kyoto temple ( this time, Shoren-in )I thought how each time I reconnect with the places, things and people I love here, it’s like meeting an old friend after a long absence. You can’t explain its satisfaction and happiness, but you sure know it and feel it.
The delicate maple leaves in the temple gardens are certainly familiar as is the smile on a loved one’s face or the twinkle in their eye. The junction of wall and roofing always pleases too, not to mention the koi in the ponds, the stones, the quiet, the moss, the flowers, the mysteries hidden in the darkened sanctuaries. How wonderful to be reunited!
People often ask me, how many times have you come here? I truly don’t know, I stopped counting years ago. It’s irrelevant anyway. There’s always a First Time feeling to each visit. I revere the integration of Nature in daily life. The physical buildings of temples, generally hundreds of years old, are such a part of each temple landscape, looking as if they might have emerged from the earth itself. The carefully constructed gardens are often sublime. It’s easy to feel a part of them as they have become a part of me. As loved ones influence and mark our lives, so does this place for me.