Short #14: Tiny Speck of Beauty
He lights up the entire forest in soft golden light, as if a single candle burns inside him. Somewhat turned around, I ask this glowing man where we go from here.
His answer is strange.
“We’ve already gone to the moon and to mars.” he says, smiling, his eyes off into the forest, or into the sky, in the direction of the moon, or mars. Looking back at me, his pupils dilate. “Did we find the answers we were looking for up there?”
“I don’t know.” I tell him. “I guess in a way, we found our place.”
“This Earth.” He nods, perhaps affirming my reply, or his, or both. “Tiny little speck of beauty and life in a desolate darkness.”
The forest shimmies in waves, as a small wind comes across the canopy.
Bells at the shrines jingle softly.
A light rain begins.
I sit, sipping a cup of tea under the eaves. Gazing out at the moss, then into the forest, not quite sure if I am looking, or waiting for something. Also still not quite sure of where I am.
The man who lights up the forest is serving tea and hard boiled eggs. He turns the fire down and continues talking to me. “People come here with furrowed brows. Philosophers. Troubled thinkers. They take a bow, hang a wooden talisman on the shrine. They have an egg, a cup of tea. Then they watch the forest.” He nods at the landscape. “People never leave with furrowed brows.”
“It must be your tea.” I say, earnestly.
The man smirks with restrained laughter, then suddenly frowns. He leans close to me. “Supermarket tea. B-quality.” He motions to the forest with his hand. “The answers are there. No matter the drink. You might sip Coca Cola and still get your answer.” The man walks back inside his shop and relays the comment about the tea to his wife. They share a laugh while I peel an egg.
I pour another cup of the supermarket green tea.
The rain falls in the sacred urban forest.
A million answers pattering.
Thanks for hanging in there with me! We have a bunch of new subscribers and supporters of The Possible City lately, and that feels good. Thank you and welcome aboard! It’s been a wild few months here for many reasons. I’ll share one of those reasons with you in an (inspiring) mini-post soon.
Next week resumes part three of the photo essay on Seoul’s urban forests. Till then, stay well friends. Also, please keep sharing the stories with others, and if you are not yet a subscriber, you can handle that below.
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