Re Cheng — Hospitality

A character is made of bits and pieces…
Today we are taking a look at the character pair, Re Cheng, which signifies “hospitality.”

The bits…
First character:
Re means warm or hot, and is pronounced ruh
Top – a phonetic piece
Bottom – flames of a fire

Second character: Cheng means sincere, and is pronounced chung
Left side – words
Right side – becoming reality

Hospitality is pictured in these two characters as warm words of sincerity that bloom into actions of the same nature.  Perhaps everyone has had some times of hospitality that came with good words but was not followed up with warm realization.  Just the words themselves are a pale shadow of what hospitality can be if it is put into action.

Hospitable what?
They are strong, quite tall, and make a pleasant spot in the environment.  Sometimes they make us wince if we see where someone has run into one off the road.  They can fall on streets in the winter and are a nuisance.  Hospitable what?   Hospitable trees.

The world is so full of trees that by seeing them every day, we forget what an amazing creation they are.  They provide us with oxygen, offer us shade in the summer, and can screen our windows from the business of the road.  In cold climates they even lose their leaves in the winter and let the sun warm the house when every little bit of sunbeam to counts to keep us a little warmer.   Those same leaves return nourishment to the soil, and provide cover for tender plants during the freezing temperatures of the winter.  Not only do they have all these positive qualities, but they give us a vision of hospitality.

The hospitality of trees

I love trees, but one of the things I love most about trees is their hospitable attitude.  Trees are always welcoming to every guest that arrives on its branches, be it bird or squirrel, bug or butterfly.   The tree’s branch-arms never push creatures off (although sometimes I wish our back yard trees would just drop off that naughty squirrel who comes and pulls off the crocus petals in the spring to eat the delicious stamens inside).

Their boughs remain open to all, naughty squirrels playing tag, big black crows, or sometimes a flock of dozens of birds, who all seem to want to squeeze into that particular tree.  What is it about that tree that is so inviting?  Certainly it is the tree’s open boughs and patience with all the activity that brought the flock of birds twittering and singing in the late afternoon, holding them close until they are ready to settle down for the night.  Trees are open to all just the way they come.  Even though a tree is not a person, there is much to learn from the hospitality of trees.

“In the cherry blossom’s shade
there’s no such thing
as a stranger.”
~Kobayashi Issa – Japanese poet known for his haiku poetry, 1763-1828

Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.
~George Washington Carver, 1864 – 1943

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
~Hebrews 13:2

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