Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?
As a child, I became very fascinated with Japanese Zen Gardens. I first saw them in novelty catalogs and then later at my cousin’s house. What was it that got me hooked on them? Was it the soft, multicolored grains of sand that I let slip through my fingers and let fall back into its trough? Was it the pretty rocks that gleamed in the light and looked so complementary with the sand and all the tiny temples? Or it could have been the little garden rake that I used to push the sand around and draw neat, swirling circles which turned into lines at the other half of the trough.
I thought to myself: I could spend all my spare moments creating patterns and moving a bunch of sand and rocks around until I become hypnotized. This is what relaxation is! Right?
I requested a Zen Garden for Christmas. My mom didn’t want to buy me a large Zen Garden (I can only assume that she thought my fantasy about the gift was juvenile), so she settled for getting me a tiny Zen Garden that fit in my stocking.
I tried it out. Naturally, there was not enough sand to fill the whole bottom of the mini trough. Nor were there tons of cool shells and temples to include in my “becoming zen” by using said Zen Garden. When I pushed the sand around, you could hear the rake scraping on the bottom.
I have the mini Zen Garden sitting in my college apartment now. It’s not the Zen Garden of my dreams, of course, but perhaps I’ll just have to live with it and let my dreams of the larger Zen Garden go.