Bamboo fronds swirled in broad-brush circles-- ripples advanced across the pond. Pink plum blossoms shivered on withered branches. Snowpuffs flittered between the trees and disappeared on contact with the ground.
We walked slowly to the shore and turned towards the arching stone bridge in its center. There was no sound but the whoosh of bamboo and the lapping of wavelets. I glanced to Shiori... she wore a crimson silk robe over her kimono... and a thick pink scarf --Feet covered by only thin silk socks; she wore traditional sandals.
I felt a strange falling sensation... not unlike the other-wordly pull of a salvia rush. Time disconnected. I stood at the center of an eternal moment.... a scene which could have existed centuries ago... one leg in ancient Japan-- one in the present.
I smiled to Shiori and turned back to the pond--- cleared my mind, listened to the swoosh of bamboo.... nodded to the cedars.