The Three Friends of Winter
"Earth was piled to form a hill and a hundred plum trees, which along with lofty pines and tall bamboo comprise the three
friends of winter, were planted.""
Record of the Five-cloud Plum Cottage - The Clear Mountain Collection
Suihan Sanyou - “The Three Friends Of Winter” is a term that was first mentioned by the Song Dynasty writer Lin Jingxi
As the cold of winter sets in, many plants and trees begin to wither away or shed their leaves.
The "Three Friends Of Winter” seem to do just the opposite.
The Pine grows even in the harshest of winters, ever green, never loosing it’s needles. It is a
symbol of inner strength, resistance to hardship and integrity.
The Plum tree blooms in the midst of winter and it’s blossoms fill the air with a subtle fragrance
exuding exquisiteness and beautiful elegance.
The bamboo reeds sway in the wind, flexible, resiliant and adaptable to the winter winds.
This resonated with me tremendously. Just like the Pine
tree stands tall and straight, I stand upright with strength and virtue to overcome adversity.
I feel the
practice of Qigong represent this ancient beauty
through its movement and meditations.
Like the Bamboo that sways in the wind, I adapted. I have been fortunate to live in many parts of this world,
each time adapting to a new country and it’s language, people and traditions.
I have done several Ironman triathlons, which involves a long distance
event in which you have to swim 2.4miles, cycle 112 miles and then run 26.2 miles in a 17 hour cut
off time. In that I faced many adversities both physically and mentally that could have crushed me.
I had to be flexible, strong and resilient, just like the bamboo. All together these three symbolize
Perseverance, Integrity, modesty and resilience.