Autumn in a Japanese garden can truly be a Zen experience. At the Japanese Garden located in Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, I can find this type of religious experience. In a rather humble surrounding with big atmosphere, a walk through this garden during the autumn season is eye-popping with colors of red and burgundy mixed with orange and yellow. The main stars of the garden this time of year are the Japanese Maples with their intense, fiery reds. Look closely and you may spot a Ginkgo tree with its distinguishably shaped small, yellow leaves. Stop to reflect at the ornamental pond with a miniature red Shinto shrine amid a small island providing company for a lone, flaming red Japanese maple tree. A traditional tall, red tang stands erect in the pond as if signifying a gateway to the Zen experience, as well as one stone Japanese lantern planted firmly to the bottom of the pond. Vocalized words are not needed here. The autumn Zen garden makes its own poetry—its own haiku.
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