Shoan and the Garden Path

Rikiu was watching his son Shoan as he swept and watered the garden path. “Not clean enough,” said Rikiu, when Shoan had fin­ished his task and bade him try again. After a weary hour the son turned to Rikiu: “Father, there is nothing more to be done. The steps have been washed for the third time, the stone lan­terns and the trees are well sprinkled with wa­ter, moss and lichens are shining with a fresh ver­dure; not a twig, not a leaf have I left on the ground.” “Young fool,” chided the tea-­mas­ter, “that is not the way a garden path should be swept.” Saying this, Rikiu stepped into the garden, shook a tree and scattered over the garden gold and crimson leaves, scraps of the bro­cade of au­tumn!

The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura

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