A Poem for Autumn

Barn’s burnt down; now I can see the moon.  Mizuta Masahide

 

I love this poem by the 17th-century Japanese poet Mizuta.  Mizuta studied under another great poet, Basho, and was samurai.  There is something so appealing to me about the bushido code of the samurai that held duty, discipline, and honorable death above all.

This time of year, with the shortening days and lengthening nights, I think about all the holidays that honor the death of summer and herald the coming winter.  The Celtic celebration of Samhain is one of those traditions.  In this holiday, like Hallows or Day of the Dead, we are meant to celebrate the harvest one final time as well as acknowledge our ancestors who have gone on before us.

It is all too easy to be sad in the winter or at the closing of one chapter, before the next one begins.  But what about the moon?  We tend to forget about the moon when we are looking at the wreckage of the barn.

Our ancestors were a little closer to the earth and sky and didn’t have smartphones or television or jobs in a cubicle to distract them from the natural rhythms of life.  They understood that the circle or wheel of life does indeed KEEP TURNING.  It doesn’t stay stuck on “burnt barn” forever.  (Sometimes it just feels that way……  🙂

Have you had a barn burn down lately?  Did you see the moon yet?

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6 responses

  1. You can never forget the moon. Most Christmases I worked and when I finally came home, I would say to my husband, “I would love to go for a run in the dark with the moonlight.” I remember this one freezing cold Christmas, I went for a run and when I was almost home, my husband met me about a quarter mile away. His beard was all frosty. We loved walking back and seeing the big full moon on that crispy cold night. Cannot forget the moon. Thank you, Aimee.

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