Sunday, December 03, 2006

Late Autumn

This is an excerpt from a nice article in The Asahi Shinbun.

I recently stood under a colossal ginkgo tree... Underfoot, a thick carpet of red and yellow fallen zelkova leaves covered the rich dark soil. It will not be long before the whole tree will be ablaze in gold.

Autumn is coming to an end.

A special sense of melancholy accompanies this transition from late autumn to early winter. Autumn is the harvest season, when the branches of trees are laden with fruit, and ears of rice bow under the weight of ripened grain. With such images still vivid in one's mind, one naturally feels somewhat desolate when that season of plenty comes to an end.

"The plants that once bloomed with flowers and the trees that once bore fruit are all withered now. Having completed their year's work, the trunks and branches of trees are now bare, and readying themselves silently for their long hibernation. In nature's cycle, nothing compares with the quiet beauty of late autumn."
--"Machi Bugyo Nikki", [Shugoro] Yamamoto

By their presence, the trees that are about to complete their annual cycle seem to invite us to look back on the past year. Calendars will turn to the last page.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 30(IHT/Asahi: December 1,2006)

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