Essay on Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Submitted By water8ot
Words: 677
Pages: 3

It starts on a spring day, sitting in the computer room. The only sounds audible are the whirring of computer fans and the voice of our teacher. 32 pairs of eyes wander the room, looking for a respite from the school work. In a brief moment of focus, I hear the teacher talking about words that are unique to certain languages and my interest is piqued. 31 pairs of eyes now wander the room as my attentions shifts to my computer screen. I'm browsing through a list of words that are unique to other cultures when I'm drawn to one word: komorebi. Komorebi is the Japanese word for the sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees. I'm immediately drawn in by the picturesque vision of sunlit rays falling on green leaves. But my second thought comes in the form of a question: this word seems so exceedingly specific and unique. Why create a word just to describe this relatively uneventful and common occurrence? Well, I found my answer a few months later. It is the summer of 2014 and my family is at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. The moment I enter the garden, I'm greeted with an array of multicolored bushes, shrubs, and leaves that border a pond, tinged with green. Light grey rocks speckled with white and red are scattered in a seemingly random, yet unexpectedly pleasing formation. As I walk through the garden, I'm astounded by the order and beauty around me. I see koi boasting beautiful colors, reminiscent of fire dancing along their delicate fins. Trees with branches marked off with the light feather touches of a green leaf. Clear ponds dotted with lily pads and the lightest of pinks found in the petals of a lotus flower. I come across an arched drum bridge that crosses a thin river, stone statues of cranes frozen in place in ponds, bright red pagodas, stepping stone paths, a small zen garden, and a traditional tea house in the heart of the garden.
Needless to say, I'm amazed. You see, I previously thought of gardens as fields of flowers or small, personalized patches of land for families to use recreationally. However, completely submerged in the experience, I found that the meaning of a garden went far beyond America’s backyards, geared towards practicality.
A major part of Japanese culture involves an appreciation for nature and a pursuit of simplistic beauty.

That's not to say that countless other cultures don’t value nature and simplicity, but this is the first time
I've witnessed such a pure devotion in applying those principles and melding them together to create such a garden that is there