Posts Tagged ‘green’

As the shinkansen (bullet train) shot along the rails from Nagano to Nagoya, I watched the towns rush by outside—houses with ceramic tiled roofs, rice fields flooded with water, little family gardens stuck in wherever they would fit. As we moved into the countryside, I was struck by the greenness. I thought I knew green and its many shades, but here were shades I couldn’t recall seeing before—the tannish green of bamboo, the yellow-topped green of some kind of flowers rising like feathers above the trees. Here and there white or pink or lavender blossoms added their accents to the riot of green.

Chion-in Temple, Kyoto

 Japan is a wondrous country of old traditions and new technology. Living in Oregon, where a building built in the 1800’s is considered old, I was amazed by temples and shrines over a thousand years old. They were solid, dark brown, smelling like the earth touched with incense. And all around them were grasses, bushes, and trees with a bright greenness that dazzled me—descendants of the trees that builders of the shrines hauled up steep slopes to create places of worship reaching the sky. Did they feel the awe I felt as I looked out over the valleys far below and thought of the God who created such living beauty?

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