One Perfect Flower

The Power of Singularity

Michael Ken
2 min readJul 1, 2019

I studied the rear fence line of my property, eyes relaxed, my mind projecting a scene filled with sunflowers reaching up to the sky. At least, that was my vision as I walked down the property planting seed after seed. I bought them on Amazon: one-thousand sunflower seeds; I planted them all. A month went by, then two, but there were no sunflowers to be seen.

Yesterday, I was walking one of the dogs in that area, and behold, there it was, a single, bright yellow flower staring at me. The irony of seeing one flower, several feet removed from where I planted seeds was comical, as if mother nature was telling me, “Hey, you do what you do, and I’ll do what I do”.

I took a few photographs of the flower to memorialize it, and as I did, I remembered a story one of my martial arts teachers told me while I was in training in Tokyo.

During medieval Japan, a famous tea master, Sen no Rikyu (1522–1591), was at the center of a famous “one flower” experience.

A powerful samurai warlord, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, received news that the Morning Glory flowers were in full bloom, creating magnificent fields of purple blossoms on the property where Rikyu’s teahouse was located.

Toyotomi arranged to visit the teahouse so he could view the flowers while Rikyu served him…



Michael Ken

My journal about life in the woods. Visit to see my complete journal, photographs, and articles.