I’ve been cleaning, organizing, and rearranging my bonsai area. Off and on I’ve been doing it for the last week but more heavily starting Christmas. I worked on my area until there was barely day light. There were a lot of work to do and moved things around and definitely felt it on my back. As I did this, I’ve been reflecting on many things, but the question that keeps coming to mind is: Why is bonsai important? To some, it looks like torturing little trees and forcing them to live in small pots. Why is bonsai important? This is not an easy question but I will try to do my best to answer it in my own way. Let me ask another question. If bonsai was never invented what will the world be like?
The world will be different for me I know. I would have never taken the hobby of bonsai and thus not knowing that I really love nature, gardening, and landscaping. Therefore, I would have been a project manager for the rest of my life working inside an office where I will enjoy the outdoor when my work allows me to.
Why is bonsai important? I ask this question because in the world of bonsai, there is a great amount of time and resources spent on these little trees. It cost a lot of money to create and maintain these trees. It does not produce food other than the small fruits they produce for aesthetics. It sure does not produce timber of any economic value.
What bonsai produces however, is something intangible. For me a great bonsai is these things all in one: joy, wonder, excitement, happiness, and feeling of being in another place. It almost feel as if a tree has a spirit that evokes all these feelings. Sounds crazy. Yes, it does, but that’s what makes bonsai important. The value of bonsai is it’s ability to evoke the spirit of these emotions and feelings at one time. It’s art, you can’t eat art for physical nourishment (other than culinary art), but you can look at art to nourish your soul. That’s it! You can make and produce bonsai to sell and make a living out of it and that is important but without it being an art first, It’s just plant torture.