The Road to Windsor

The Road to Windsor

The Road at Windsor (June 1991, United Kingdom)

The Long Walk is the name of an avenue that stretches out from the southern side of Windsor Castle, one of the residences of the British royal family, about an hour’s drive from London. Over four kilometers (almost three miles) in length, the Long Walk is lined on each side by luxuriant green lawn and double rows of London plane trees and horse chestnuts. Today, it is part of Windsor Great Park, which is open to the public as a popular recreation area.

On June 27, 1991, after meeting with local dignitaries at the SGI-UK’s main centre at Taplow Court, near Maidenhead, SGI President Ikeda took a stroll along the banks of the Thames River a short distance away. It was on this outing that he snapped several photographs of the Long Walk, as if to engrave it forever in his memory.

President Ikeda has often written of his aspiration to be a person who opens a new path — a path of happiness, of peace, of humanity, of victory, of mentor and disciple…. He has always firmly believed that many would follow his pioneering steps along this path. That is why he continues his efforts to extend this path across the world to this day.

When the late Kenyan environmental activist and Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) saw this photograph, she smilingly told President Ikeda that it seemed to her to be leading to supreme happiness.

Long have I walked
the roads of this world,
leaving behind
so many memories,
creating so much history.

I have no regrets.
For in my justice-loving heart
has burned the flame
of compassionate determination
to rid the world
of fear and war.

I have known the joy
of innumerable struggles,
the diverse, resounding cheers
of innumerable friends.

I have forged
a broad, new path of peace.
With the passion of my youth,
with brightly burning eyes,
I sought to create
an ideal world
such as people have dreamed of.

I have always stood,
have always walked,
have always fought,
in the light of happiness
that is the Mystic Law.

Closing my tired eyes,
I recall how
I ceaselessly raised
the cry of justice,
scarcely pausing
for a breath.

Worldwide kosen-rufu
means world peace.
Nothing remains to me,
I have no other wish,
than the realization
of that dream.

Peace is humanity’s greatest,
most solemn undertaking.

(Excerpt of SGI President Ikeda’s Poem “Peace and Happiness for All! — A Prayer for Lasting World Peace”, April 2003)

Published in Creative Life November 2011