Shohin, The “Little Bonsai”

December 28, 2021

Reflections, Day 76

“The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

I got home yesterday and found Dekie’s miniature bonsai gardens sitting next to the sink waiting for a drink. She’s been growing and shaping these for a number of years. The plants range from a miniature variety of jade plant that I kept around for many years before losing them to her in an arm wrestling match (she cheated), to a miniature cactus that Bill Amos gave us a number of years ago.

The small, palm-sized bonsai plants are classified by the name of “Shohin.” Shohin plants are prized by bonsai admirers and you don’t see many of them.

You rarely find the dwarf or “miniature” varieties of plants in nurseries or in the big box stores for good reason—they take a long time to grow and people prefer larger plants for the price. The shohin admirer is one who looks at an unshaped, small, dwarf plant with a somewhat higher price and says, “Neat.”

Our world is mostly impressed by size.

“The larger the better.”

“The more the better.”

But, sometimes, we look beyond size and quantity to find beauty in the smaller things. After all, in the middle of the galaxy, we wouldn’t even qualify as a speck of dust.

In the words of the elf-man:

“He cocked his and with his eye he looked me through and through,

“I’m quite as big for me, said he, as you are big for you.”

—john schulz

Power to the peaceful

Published by John P.Schulz

I lost my vocal cords a while back due to throat cancer. The laryngectomy sent me on a quest to find and learn to use my new, altered voice. I am able to talk now with a really small and neat new prosthesis. My writing reflects what I have learned in my search for a voice. My site publishes a daily motivational quote and a personal comment. I write an article a week for my blog, which deals with a lot of the things that I do in the garden. I am also the author of Requiem for a Redneck and the new Redemption for a Redneck--novels portraying the lives and doings of folks around the north Georgia hills. I have an English Education degree from the University of Georgia and very happily married to the lovely Dekie Hicks. You may enjoy my daily Quotes and Notes at

One thought on “Shohin, The “Little Bonsai”

  1. All three are lovely, but my fave is the one on the right front. I like it that the knife blocks and baggie of pretzels are very nearby to give a true comparison and perspective as to the real size of the bonsai. Clever photography!

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