SET FIRMLY AS ROCKS IN A ZEN GARDEN
‘Afterwards, he was a story still told, set firmly as rocks in a Zen Garden‘From the Poem A Shrine to Lafcadio Hearn by Waterford Poet – Sean Dunne
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Our story ends in a simple Zen garden. The centerpiece is a massive statue rock, flanked by a bronze sculpture of Lafcadio Hearn, gifted by the city of Matsue.
Hearn died in September 1904. Setsu later wrote:
“Two or three days before he died something very strange happened. The cherry tree in the garden outside Hearn’s study started blossoming out of season… a sign of misfortune in Japan. But Hearn was delighted by the news and said ‘hello’ to the blossoms in his gentle musical voice. He said, ‘It is warm today like spring. Poor cherry tree, it has made a mistake. Soon it will become cold and frightened and die.’ The tree blossomed only for one day. That evening all the petals fluttered to the ground. Next evening, Hearn died suddenly, smiling and without any pain.”
Here we complete the circle of Hearn’s life, with the concluding words from his essay In a Japanese Garden
‘Verily, even plants and trees, rocks and stones, all shall enter into Nirvana’.LAFCADIO HEARN