Chi-Jen Liu's daughter, Jenny, composed the following poem for her father's painting of lotuses in the winter season:
Winter arrives and pauses
Resplendent, pure and white
The lotus retreats
Under a blanket of snow
Searching roots reach deeper growth
Master Turtle meditates
Taking a long breath
Inhaling this season’s gift of peace
In this painting, the lotus pond is covered by cold and heavy snow. The mountains in the back are white with frost. The lotuses are quiet and dormant, patiently waiting for spring's arrival. Their leaves are withered and porous. Meanwhile, a turtle silently watches the changing landscape and is lulled into hibernation. Together, the lotus and turtle welcome winter as a season for rest and peace. Chi-Jen Liu created this serene image to show the beauty of longevity and the necessity of taking respite as we age.
The turtle's reputation of living long and aging gracefully has made it into a universal symbol for longevity. In China, they have been prized for their restorative properties, and some traditional Chinese remedies include using turtles for food and medicine. Chi-Jen Liu has been a lifelong practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine and believes nature provides all the ingredients man needs for preventing bodily ailments. However, when outer means make no difference, it may be more effective to not eat but to emulate the turtle, and – to paraphrase his daughter's poem – take a long breath, meditate and inhale peace, instead.