Weekly Photo Challenge: Wonder, 3

When it comes to trees —- the Japanese have the right idea!

Shinto is an animist religion which worships Kami, spirits that inhere in nature: in oceans, rivers, the sun, rocks, perhaps above all, in TREES.  Every Shinto shrine I’ve visited has its own sacred grove, and the majestic trees certainly inspire me with awe.

Often the shrine entrance, or a single tree, will be roped with a special straw rope, called Shimenawa, which may also be decorated with lightning-bolts of paper. Shimenawa mark off the bounds of  the sacred from the everyday.

This grove is in Look Park (where else? judging by my latest posts), but might equally be found, ringed with a shimenawa, on the grounds of a Shinto shrine in Shimane-ken, Japan. With or without a sacred rope, to my eyes mighty spirits dwell within these trees —

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This entry was posted in Japan, Nature, Religion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Wonder, 3

  1. Pauline says:

    I can feel every atom in me responding to this post. From childhood I’ve talked to trees and rocks and the grasses beneath my feet and if I listen carefully, with all of me rather than just my human ears, I can hear their voices, too. When I’m ‘tuned in’ I can even hear the whisper of clouds and the humming song of the earth. It makes the world a much more habitable and less lonely place. Perhaps it is why, though I am a solitary person, I never feel as though I am all alone in the world. May I print these tree photos?

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Of course, Pauline!
      When the Bean is old enough, you must watch with her the DVD of the Japanese anime, My Neighbor Totoro. It’s about all the spirits of the natural world, of the forests and everything as experienced by a little girl and her older sister, and it is totally enchanting! Could be you, that little girl. The music is wonderful, everything is wonderful. Since we own it (I’ve watched it umpty-ump times) you could always borrow it if Cassie has a DVD player —
      Or if that’s too long to wait, come and watch it here with me!

  2. mighty spirits indeed. Guardians and grandparents abound in those woods!

  3. There is no place I would rather be than in the woods…

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