Aesthetics of Wandering & Childhood Memories

In the context of one of the classes that I am currently taking, Japanese Poetry, I decided to go out for a walk around the campus. We are reading poems written by one of the most well known Japanese poets, Matsuô Bashô . He is known for having traveled far and wide in Japan, finding inspiration in his surroundings to compose poems. So following his guidelines for an attentive wandering, I went around the campus, with my camera. I decided to go towards the cemetery as I have seen it many times before, but never really spent time to observe its surroundings in details. I am happy that I took the time to go around the campus once before I leave this place! Sometimes, wonderful things happen unexpectedly. During my short walk away from everything: my friends, cellphone, Facebook (haha…), homework and the worldly world, I experienced simple beauties that existed so close by, but never truly felt its presence until now. I saw flowers of different colors and insects of different sizes, co-existing in harmony – right few minutes away from my daily life.

Engulfed in sentimentalism and romanticism, upon seeing beauty in its tangible form, I was taken back to my childhood. As a little nomadic kid, I had plenty of opportunities to be in continuous unison with the nature. During the summers, “the time of the year”, I would play by the river side and indulge in my fantasy of being a princess. I would collect flowers that have grown tall and bountiful, by the river bed, and make the most delicate and colorful crown. Though the flowers I found here are not as big as those found in Tibet, they share many characteristics of beauty – natural, fresh, delicate, colorful, surreal and breathtakingly enchanting. In our nomadic family, it is usually my sisters who would be the ones to go out to the mountains and graze our animals. I would stay behind and help my mother run errands at our tent. Often, I would try to make my way to the mountains with my sisters. It was so much more adventurous and exploratory to being on the mountains than staying behind at the tent. On the mountains, I would found abundant flowers and fruits. While my sisters were busy tending to our animals, I would engage myself in collecting the mountain treasures. Looking back, I know that I was not much of an extra help for my sisters. Alas, those memories, when revived, bring me so close to my home – a home that I have missed for the last sixteen years. But may there be a time when I will be once again in unison with the flowers of my birth place… Yet for now, I will nurture their memories in the beauty of the flowers of this land.

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