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Lessons Learned In the Bonsai Garden...

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Santa Johnathan

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There are quite a few charities that I love to work with, mostly involving children’s advocacy and care, music, and education. I find that as we find ways to help within our communities, we are gifted with opportunities to grow, to touch other people’s lives, and truly make a difference. I find at times that I may be grumpy, depressed, or negative, finding ways to serve others is a great medicine. One of my favorite volunteer positions is as a curator and docent for one of the more important bonsai gardens in the US, the Lake Merritt Bonsai Garden. 

The tree next to me in the picture is just one of the more than 200 amazing trees on display. A black pine that was on display at the 1915 Pan-Pacific World Fair of San Francisco. At the time it was a 300 year old famous bonsai tree and a true novelty to see here. Now, over 400 years old, it’s a special treat to care for this tree and see it stays healthy for future generations. This is one of my decompressing activities to relax and think. Recently during a day in the garden volunteering with my son, I took an oppotunity to reflect on things. Our life is but a short moment, are we leaving something positive behind when the time comes to pass from our mortal life? Have we helped brighten someone else’s life? Made a difficult time easier for someone? Supported a good cause? I think all of us can do SO much. 

There is a phrase used often at the garden, “Wabi-Sabi” it’s a Japanese concept seen in art and ascetics that could apply to us in the Santa world too. It means, “Nothing is perfect, nothing is permanent, nothing is finished.” I apply this to how I portray Santa, it can be applied anywhere. From purposely placing a patch on Santa’s bag or other item to make it look real, used, loved, like it’s so old it has been repaired. It could also mean an internal dialog in recognizing, “I am never done learning, I am never done finding ways to be better...always a student.”

Sorry for the long post. As I enjoy the peace and quiet of the garden, wearing my ISC Denver shirt and yet again, my mind goes to Santa Claus and the Christmas community. I love my time here and I love spending time with my son learning. Have an amazing day everyone! Make someone smile today, tell someone they are loved, and find ways to make a difference. Love you all.

Johnathan

 

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