Friday, February 18, 2011

Three Friends of Winter

Yun Bing, Chinese, 18th centruy
Yun Bing was a woman artist

The Pine tree, Bamboo, and the Plum tree...three friends of winter.  The pine, standing strong and tall and wise, shows its greenery in winter; the bamboo bends and yields but does not break; and the plum tree (a varietal) flowers in adverse conditions.  I saw each of these last night at the lantern viewing ceremony at the Lan Su Chinese Classical Garden, the culmination of the 2-week Chinese New Year.  The plum tree was indeed blooming, just a few small blossoms at the very top.  My spirits lifted to see them. 

The Three Friends of Winter are found in many Chinese (and other Asian) works of art, like the one shown above.  I've been captivated with this symbology since I first saw the stone mosaics on the ground, representing a plum blossom on cracked ice.  They remind me to take joy in the beauty and wisdom of each season, and to learn from nature.

4 comments:

Marilyn said...

Gorgeous! Oh, I did want to see that ceremony. I can imagine it was beautiful. I have been twice lately to see the red lanterns, but missed the ceremony. Your post is lovely.

Lelia said...

beautiful and aren't we lucky to have such a strong Aisan community here in the Northwest and gardens to visit?

Esmerelda said...

I have totally gotten enough wisdom from winter this year. Moving on...

Steph said...

Esme - You'v all had such a tough one!