Eunheungsa One: 8 November 2011
The shade of a 300-year-old Ginko stretches away
from the double-persimmon called “cam:” the ancient
tree grows fruit and then a baby one inn the center remains
intact, a local phenom. Beautifully colored roosters
flair wings, young hens follow bobbing tail-feathers as
adults and children sort fruit from yellow fan-shaped
leaves. All hands repair to the mushroom logs, sixteen
inches wide, maybe four feet long. These mushrooms are
dried and made into medicinal tea, good for those ailing
from bad circulation, like me. A monk and six helpers
fill baskets, and a hen chases another away from the game
cock. Twenty six types of birdcall and one human singer
fill quiet hillside with their best songs. Ji Hun, the lucky
fourteen-year-old opens a rice-paper door to wave “hello.”
Sometimes a fan-leaf spins down, another dives quickly.
Visitors speak, a quiet monk gathers. Six-year-old lifts black
mesh to discover rolling Ginkos, as singing man sits with a
branch-full of fruit. A boy learns many days worth of school
at once here. His first real lesson in life from the land comes
none-too-soon, but Ji Hun stays roomed, having lost interest.
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