Authentic Zen Garden

Stuck behind a combine harvester on a county road, strangely I see one of those tiered pagoda rooftops you see in pictures of Japan. Above a cedar fence I see cherry trees in bloom. My mind does a double take. It looks idyllic. The sign reads: Authentic Zen Garden.

After the day I’ve had an hour of inner peace is exactly what I need. I pull into the driveway, but walking to the office door I begin to hear a man shouting in mixed English and Japanese. I hesitate at the door. The man is enraged, quite literally screaming into his phone. I know what to do when a Catholic is angry. What do you do when a Buddhist is losing it?

I back onto the road and drive off. The farther away from the Zen garden, the more at peace I begin to feel. Glancing up I am struck by the light and stillness of the clouds, like stones in the garden of the sky.

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