The love for
the land, the hand laid stone path, the mountains and forests is
still alive and living in the hearts and lives of the local people.
As I set my
hands together to show respect my heart burst and I couldn't hold
back tears... I was so surprised by the out pouring of emotion.
It was then that a elder Shinto Priest walked over and bowed. He
said " You must love trees! We call this the talking tree. It calls
out to the tree lovers. Did you notice it is bowing to the temple
it has lived here for over 1000 years and is one of the family,
it bows to the temple and we bow to it. Last year a great tree doctor
in Japan saw the tree can cried for an hour. I have been here for
over 60 years and it is the first time that it has talked to a foreigner.
And the first time that I have met a foreigner like you who speaks
the Nagoya Dialect. Welcome my green eyed friend, your eyes speak
of trees and leaves and tales of the forest. Would you share some
tea and the babblings of an old man? "
It was dark
when I slip on my shoes and bowed to the special tree. and left
the shrine. I had promised to bring other tree climbers from many
nations to share their love for trees. " My young green eyed friend
I look forward to visiting your tree climbing friends and wish to
hear of tree stories and the love of trees from distant lands. My
the Tree Gods watch your steps and the moon kiss your back as you
tread on the fallen stars. " ( The elderly priest had previously
shared the most wonderful story of how all the stones are really
fallen stars who have given up their fire to come to earth and be
the paths for man. He had said sometimes their a few rocks that
still hold onto the passion of their past and are warm to touch.)
I would like
to share this wonderful experience with like minded tree climbers
and fulfill my promise to my elderly friend
PS. I asked
to take a picture of my friend and he said, with a huge smile and
little bow, to take my picture would remove the magic of the Shrine.
I am but a 97 year child here. The greater wisdom is in the trees
and Shinto Gods. I am like sand in the wind soon to be blown to