Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Without The Bitterest Cold

Without the bitterest cold that penetrates to the very bone, how can plum blossoms send forth their fragrance to the whole world?

This little gem of haiku by Basho is one which I should "do up" in calligraphy and hang in a prominent place here at home, especially at this time of the year when winter is no longer quite the enchanting proposition it was in early November.

I always welcome the white season when it first appears, and I know perfectly well that there can be no Spring without these icy deeps in which we find ourselves now, but winter is old, and there are moments when it is difficult to picture plum (almond, crabapple and cherry) blossoms in February. Nevertheless, as I read Basho on this bitterly cold February morning, I find myself enfolded in the delicious fragrance of flowering almond, mock orange and cherry blossoms which are still to come, and that is a gift. I needed Basho's lyrical reminder that out of winter, a verdant springtime comes.


Laura said...

indeed. for me winter is often so cold and long it becomes physically painful...and this promise of spring is what allows me to just be and contemplate all that is stirring beneath the earth.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts as I stay home today, we're having an ice storm and the promise of Spring is very uplifting indeed.

Suzi Smith said...

here in the uk we only get a few weeks of snow (if that, usually) this year somewhat more than usual, so i'm savouring it. But yes, i've been looking at the buds for evidence of growth! Have really appreciated your winter photography too.