Part 14, The Samurai & The Geisha
Our lives have been full in these past months. We’ve spent wonderful times in our new home within the Miagawacho Hanamachi. We’ve enjoyed strolls through the region, and enjoyed entertainment at the delightful ochaya of the Nakanoshima geisha. My cousin Koniki was hired to be the proprietor of the Ramenshop, allowing us to simply enjoy entertaining the guests. And more than anything, my wonderful husband Taka and I have become members of this community here at Hosoi Mura.
In many ways, our life has been ideal. I’ve not spent much time wondering about our garden or home in Nishijima. But once in awhile I’ve recall a premonition I had as we left there, a cold and empty feeling, and a sense that we were leaving forever.
The truth is, our garden is too small and our lands in Nishijima are too scattered. Even when considering all our lands together we didn’t have space for our future needs. And of course, Nishijima is so far away from our new home. On several occasions we talked and dreamed about a larger estate. We talked about a place nearer to this community at Kansai. Taka wanted space to setup his ventures, and I dreamed of a garden with winding paths to stroll. But although we had discussed all these things, we never discussed what would become of our home and the garden. And the future never seemed further than the following day.
In the happiness of our new life in Kansai, I’ve lived without concern. Each day was a new delight and each evening we’d stroll. So, it was not unusual one evening that Taka and I went for our walk. He said, I have something I want to tell you, but as we walked we didn’t talk. I could tell that he had things on his mind but we didn’t speak, just walked.
We found a place to sit and there Taka looked into my eyes and told me of his love for me. He asked me if I could feel his love, and of course I could. Takamatsu is a man who expresses his love with passion, and when he tells me he loves me, I feel it in my soul. I’ve said this before, but Taka is unlike most samurai. Taka has studied the spiritual ways and he is free. My honorable husband feels deeply and is attuned to my feelings.
And so he began, “I have a wonderful surprise for you, my love…”
Taka told me he discovered an estate in a nearby region. He knows of my love of bamboo and told me of the magnificent valley in the center of a lush bamboo forest. He sad there I’d find a most enchanting pond. Then he told me of his surprise, he had purchased this place. And if that wasn’t enough, he told me of the new home he was going to build for me, a palace for his princess.
I was overcome by Taka’s enthusiasm and my mind filled with new possibilities. I imagined creating a new, even more beautiful garden. My heart was full of love for my Taka, then he told me that he’d sold our old land. And I thought, well, of course we need to sell the old land. It’s the natural way of events.
The next day, we planned to return to Nishijima to collect our belongings. We left early and made the arduous journey one last time. The night we arrived I prepared a simple meal and after dinner Taka began packing large chests with our belongings. I walked to the garden to collect precious items I would want for the new garden.
My thoughts were of ideas and features for a new garden, and I barely noticed my surroundings as I collected my treasures. Then I stopped and I looked around the for just a moment. In that moment I realized this place I loved would no longer be ours, and I recalled my premonition.
I stood in the garden as a flood of joyful memories swept over me. But instead of feeling joy, I felt torrents of sadness and tears flowed into my eyes. I wondered, what will happen to this place that bears my name, Yordie’s Zen Garden. I thought, this is the place where Takamatsu and I met and fell in love, and this is site of our marriage and so many wonderful occasion. I stood alone for endless minutes.
Then seemingly from the mist, Taka appeared and without words, he took me into his arms. He held me and let me know that he understood. We clung to each other as waves of feelings washed over us, the ebbed, then and again, till everything was quiet and still.
The next day we finished packing and began our journey to the new land.
by Yordie, wife of Takamatsu Soke
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