Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snowing, snowing, snowing...


If only you could hear
the sound of snow...
Hakuin Ikaku
Ah, the first snow squalls of the season, turning the world white and making everything new and bright and clean and crisp again...

Snow fell on the village and the highlands yesterday, and at times, one couldn't see more than a few feet in front of her face.  With snow in the forecast off and on for the next several days, it's safe to say that long white season has arrived and plans to stay this time - the residual russets, ochers, grays and browns of late autumn are vanishing under the fluffy white stuff and will be only snippets of memory in the next day or two.

It's difficult to express the feelings that always seem to rise with the first snowfalls, but the expression wabi sabi describes them as well as anything may be said to do that. There is radiant stillness, a kind of tranquil melancholy; a non-attachment beyond all coming and going that honors tathata or suchness, the turning of the seasons and the perfect spontaneous unfolding of the great wide world around us.

At the same time there is deep and abiding contentment to be here among the trees and a minuscule element, a mere mote, in this wild enchanting interval in the Great Round.  My eyes and lens linger lovingly on a skim of glossy ice on the creek still singing in its icy bed, on evergreens cloaked in nebulous white and standing like sentries on the hill above, on flighty drifts of oak leaves freed from their lofty moorings and coming to rest on the new snow in its fine granular blueness.   Across countless years and perfect wind tossed seasons, Hakuin's ecstatic poetic offering says it all - snow falling in the north woods is the most perfect sound I can think of.

3 comments:

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

It is in the teens here this early morning.
I wonder what kind of winter is in store for my surroundings.
Just a dusting last year.
I love the snow...

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Mmmm, beautiful. And beautifully said.

Keechy said...

Living in Australia, I have never seen or heard snow in real life. Maybe one day. For us, turning into the next long, hot, dry summer, there is a wabi sabi-ness to this time too. It is our death time, our time when plants die or stop growing, when creatures retreat into quiet to survive the heat, leaving the land to the ants and snakes. Not my favorite time of year, but the smell of sun-heated eucalyptus is pretty hard to beat. :)