'In the trembling grey of a spring dawn, when the birds were whispering in mysterious cadence among the trees, have you not felt they were talking to their mates about the flowers? Surely with mankind the appreciation of flowers must have been coeval with the poetry of love. Where better than in a flower, sweet in its unconsciousness, fragrant because of its silence, can we image the unfolding of a virgin soul?
In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends. We eat, drink, sing, dance, and flirt with them. We wed and christen with flowers. We dare not die without them We have worshipped with the lily, we have meditated with the lotus, we have charged in battle array with the rose and the chrysanthemum. We have even attempted to speak in the language of flowers.
How could we live without them? It frightens one to conceive of a world bereft of their presence. What solace do they not bring to the bedside of the sick, what a light of bliss to the darkness of weary spirits?
Their serene tenderness restores to us our waning confidence in the universe even as the intent gaze od a beautiful child recalls our lost hopes.
When we are laid low in the dust it is they who linger in sorrow over our graves.'
The Book of Tea | Kakuzo Okakura