young shao held in his mind
a number of persistent questions
that had been there for many days.
and so, he went to the monastery
where he had heard the wise man of
haikus resided. when he arrived,
he saw the wise man out in the
garden, watering the flowers.
seventeen flowers were growing,
five in the first row, seven in the
second, and five in the third.
young shao said to the wise
man of haikus “what does it
all mean? why is the sky
decorated with clouds, the earth
decorated with grass, the trees
decorated with leaves? what is
the logic behind this design? is
it god? the dao? natural process?”
the wise man of haikus took a deep
breath and looked up to the sky. “i
couldn’t tell you.”
“but you’re the wise man of haikus!
surely you have found the answers to
questions, through your meditation and
contemplative writing!” shao said in protest.
“look bud,” was the start of the reply
his exasperated protests were met with.
“you’ve got the wrong guy.
i’m just the grounds gardener.
the wise man’s inside.”
the gardener returned to watering his
flowers, muttering to himself. “the
wisest thing i’ve ever done is plant
azaleas here instead of hydrangeas.”
at that moment, young shao had become enlightened.