The last few days have found me very restless. This evening as I sat in the yard to enjoy the cool, it struck me how different the lotus pool I pass every day must look under a full moon. The moon was sailing higher and higher up the heavens, the sound of childish laughter had died away from the lane beyond our wall, and my wife was in the house patting Juner and humming a lullaby to him. I quietly slipped on a long gown, and walked out leaving the door on the latch.


A cinder - path winds along by the side of the pool. It is off the beaten track and few pass this way even by day, so at night it is still more quiet. Trees grow thick and bosky all around the pool, with willows and other trees I cannot name by the path. On nights when there is no moon the track is almost terrifyingly dark, but tonight it was quite clear, though the moonlight was pale.


Strolling alone down the path, hands behind my back, I felt as if the whole earth and sky were mine and I had stepped outside my usual self into another world. I like both excitement and stillness, under the full moon, I could think of whatever I pleased or of nothing at all, and that gave me a sense of freedom. All daytime duties could be disregarded. That was the advantage of solitude: I could savour to the full that expanse of fragrant lotus and the moonlight.


As far as eye could see, the pool with its winding margin was covered with trim leaves, which rose high out of the water like the flared skirts of dancing girls. And starring these tiers of leaves were white lotus flowers, alluringly open or bashfully in bud, like glimmering pearls, stars in an azure sky, or beauties fresh from the bath. The breeze carried past gusts of fragrance, like the strains of a song faintly heard from a far-off tower. And leaves and blossoms trembled slightly, while in a flash the scent was carried away. As the closely serried leaves bent, a tide of opaque emerald could be glimpsed. That was the softly running water beneath, hidden from sight, its colour invisible, though the leaves looked more graceful than ever.