American bonsai master John Naka once said, “You don’t work on bonsai, bonsai works on you.” Now that my internship at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum is drawing to a close, those words seem truer to me than ever. My time here has been an honor. I feel so privileged to have had this experience working with a truly world-class team on some of the most cherished trees in the country and the world. I have grown beyond my expectations. I take away with me a greater understanding and appreciation for this art form.
Bonsai provides us with an opportunity for people to come together working towards a common goal. It provides some people with a sense of purpose, which all humans need. Bonsai gives us a deeper understanding of nature and her diverse ways. It teaches us scientific facts that we are able to apply to the natural world around us on a daily basis. It fosters love and appreciation for the Arts and Sciences, and inspires conservation. And every day, the art of bonsai gifts us with countless endeavors upon which to embark.
I would like to express my gratitude for the existence of this internship program, and those whose funding makes this opportunity possible, including Toyota Inc. North America and the U.S. National Arboretum. Without generous donations, programs like these would not exist. Now, more than ever, support is needed to keep national treasures such as this collection thriving for ours and future generations. I urge everyone to please support the National Bonsai Foundation in any way possible. This allows us to carry on the torch for future bonsai artists and enthusiasts alike.
As an American bonsai artist, I’m humbled and proud to have served the craft through my time at the museum. I have learned more than I’d ever thought possible. As I look ahead, it is my goal to apply what I have learned here to further this art form, and to help future generations gain an opportunity to learn about bonsai here in the United States. It is with a grateful, humble heart that I say farewell to the Museum and the family I have found here.