Friday, April 07, 2006

In Spring It Is the Dawn

Photo found here

In spring, it is the dawn. The sky at the edge of the mountains slowly starts to brighten with the approach of day, and the thinly trailing clouds nearby are tinted purple.

In summer, it is the night. It is of course delightful when the moon is out, but no less so on dark nights when countless fireflies can be seen mingling in flight. One even feels charmed when just one or two pass by, giving off a gentle glow. Rainy nights, too, are delightful.

In autumn, it is the evening. As the setting sun draws closer to the mountains, the crows hastily fly back to their nests in threes and fours and twos. Even more delightful is the sight of a line of geese flying far overhead. Then, after the sun has set, the crying of insects and the sound of the wind have a charm that goes without saying.

In winter, it is the early morning. Of course it is delightful when snow is falling, but even when there is a pure-white frost -- or in the freezing cold without either snow or frost -- the way the fire is hurriedly stirred up and coals carried to all the rooms seems most suited to the season. As the day wears on and the cold gradually loses its sharpness, the braziers go untended and the coals become coated with a disagreeable white ash.
From The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon

2 comments:

  1. I read some Sei Shonagon in college. This is such a beautiful quote. I must revist her!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rebecca - I really enjoyed her Pillow Book when I read it a couple of years ago, and I can't help but think that if she were alive now, she'd write some fun, ranty blog posts! ;)

    ReplyDelete

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