A famous Zen master, Daisetsu Suzuki, wrote an essay in 1930’s about his worry toward the uaban life. He said when people start living an apartment and have no contact with lands, people stop caring surrounding. He concluded that one must maintain the contact with lands, in order to understand the interconnection of the universe. I was ammused that he said this in 1930.
Yesterday and today, I was digging holes to place trees as a flag poles.
There was a thunder storm at the midnight. I was looking at lightning for a hour at 1am till 2pm.
I noticed the clear difference of the hardness of the ground before and after the rain next day. This might not news to you if you were a framer of a gardener, but I was enjoying the fact I physically experienced the differences, and in fact I posses the knowledge of people who work with lands. As I was digging holes, setting up flags, looking at the movement of wishing flags, and imagining winds carry away all wishes, I was also thinking of all the people who would dig ground, like coffee farmers in Guatemala. I was imagining their lands, their sweats, their lives. With my action, I share the solidarity with them. I am aware that I am romanticizing, but my sweat is also real. By working on the field, I become one of them. I was also thinking of the time I buried dead puppies that my dog had. I had a collie, named Lassie when I was a teenager. Collies tend to have large number of puppies at the same time, and sometimes few were born with much undeveloped state like Kangaroo babies. Once Lassie had 11 puppies, but four were born prematurely and did not survive. I dag small holes and buried them. I had a joyful time with survived 7 puppies, but I also remember the sad moment. Dogs can cry. I saw tears in Lassie’s eyes when she noticed those puppies were not moving.