“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”
In an earlier post, I stated incorrectly that Jinan was home of Confucius. Born 551 B.C., his birthplace, home and primary place of teaching was in Qufu. Jinan was, at the time, and remains so today, the largest city near to his home.
A quick trip by high speed rail from Jinan to the city of Qufu where I took a tour with a young man who identified himself as a 75th generation descendant of Confucius. He offered his English name as Tim and shared intimate knowledge of history on the subject of his great-great-great-great-great ….and so on ancestor.
This place had many similarities with the Forbidden City in Beijing; the typically walled complex, traditional architecture with ceramic tiles and dynastic ornamentation, a series of buildings for each group or family within the royal hierarchy, prayer/meditation rooms, Xing Tan (place of teaching) and ceremonial areas.
Throughout the grounds there are gardens and many ancient trees, one dated at 1800 years!
It is amazing to see such old trees within a city. In America, most of the giant trees are in deep forests protected from logging. There are some examples of old trees at wineries in California or in historically preserved areas, particularly in the Southern states where the climate is milder.
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius
One aspect of this place that gave a sense of history from an interesting perspective; headstones and mounds of earth indicating the burial sites of the many descendants of the sage. My guide informs that he and his sons will one day rest among them, though cremation is the only option, the place no longer accepts coffins in the mausoleum.
“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”