Saint of Mt. Koya
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"I paused for a time at the fork, looking over the situation wondering which path to follow. The huge cypress completely blocked the wider path, its branches arching out over the surrounding rice fields like a rainbow spanning the sky. And not only its branches, its roots too, were remarkable. They broke through the ground in many places, forming fantastic patterns like a mass of squirming eels. I also noticed that a spring of water was flowing from among the roots and spread out over the ground forming a large puddle. In fact, the water was flowing right down the wider of the two paths, the one I had intended to follow, transforming it into a stream.

"I thought it odd that the surrounding rice fields had not become a lake. With my eyes I followed the torrent of the stream and saw that some distance in front of me stood a grove of trees that seemed to form a barrier stopping the water. Nevertheless, the two hundred yards between where I stood and the grove of trees was a rushing current. Here and there in the stream bed were rocks that could have been used as stepping stones if one took large strides. Although they seemed most natural, I was sure these stepping stones had been placed there by human hands.

"The ford was not so difficult that the traveller would have to remove his travelling robes in order to cross, but on the other hand, it seemed an excessively difficult crossing if this was really the main road. It would be difficult for a horse to make his way along here, much less a foot traveller like myself.

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