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  • This journal is dedicated to the beauty, mystery and power of Numinous Nature, and is meant to encourage a renewed love-affair with the Wild as found in our forests, prairies, mountains, deserts and back-yards.

Bejeweled Days Past

We are now in full-blown “twig” season(no leaves). It is always a difficult transition for me and I suspect many others, from psychedelic autumn to astringent winter. The added circadian clunker of the hour change does not help. But I shall not digress.

I take more than a passing interest in the fall foliage display. Leaves are beautiful both physically and symbolically, and I’ve been fascinated by their essentially infinite forms, when fresh or dry, for many years. Leaf beauty endures from their overwintering buds to the last remnants of their decay. It can be said our lives depend on leaves, as they are the heavy-lifters in absorbing C02 and producing oxygen through photosynthesis, not to mention their value as a food source. So it’s not hard to imagine why we may feel a kinship for them, beyond the practical and aesthetic.

Literally leaves sacrifice themselves on a yearly schedule for the overall health of the tree and to feed the soil.

Symbolically, their willing sacrifice in autumn can be seen as a metaphor for any kind of sacrifice of the individual for the greater good.

Like many people I find them especially appealing in autumn when they are more available to the senses of touch, smell and sound as well as sight. Here are some views from days not so long past.

 

IMGP7589web

Downstream

Downstream

Jewels

Jewels

IMGP7606PSEweb

Mirror

Mirror

Spiral

Spiral

Standing

Standing

 

 

Unseen Hand

I am regularly gob-smacked, particularly after high-water events, by the seemingly aesthetic placement of sticks, leaves and other detritus among rocks in streams that I frequent. There is something about the care/no care, eye/no eye, mind/no mind aspect of this that brings me into a moment which stretches back to the moments when the arrangements were placed by flowing water, and even further to when leaves were on trees, sticks were branches, stones were rounded by water, layers of sediment were laid down, morphed into rock, then uplifted into these mountains we love.

 

not by human

suspension

single leaf

sublime

rock and knot

Wealth Of The Soil

During a recent trip to Japan I rode the train more than usual with almost daily trips from 45 minutes south of Kyoto, up and back. This and a Shinkansen (bullet-train) trip to Tokyo gave me the opportunity to view plenty of urban, suburban and some rural landscape. A feature that all of these share, excluding the most dense city and newest suburbs, is that of intense, ubiquitous food growing. Even just a few miles from Tokyo Station one sees cultivated plots, large, medium and small, with increasing frequency. I had to contrast this with a recent train trip from Montpelier, VT to New York’s Penn Station. The landscape from Hartford, CN to Manhattan seemed largely a decaying urban expanse interspersed with a few wetlands. Very little food growing in that corridor.

The pundits like to assert that the Japanese economy is somehow less vigorous than our own based on whatever markers they choose. Looking at sustainable food producing capacity as the most basic of economic indices along with a general appearance of prosperity and tidiness, I would have to place the Japanese miles ahead of us.

One evening my friends took me to dinner at their friend Ten-san’s with his family along the edge of the Yamashiro basin that contains Kyoto. It was takenoko (baby-bamboo) season and Ten-san has a marvelous family bamboo grove a short walk from their house. He showed us his tool and technique for digging takenoko. Earlier the family had prepared cups and other utensils from fresh, green bamboo and takenoko was served in several dishes.

 

Fuji fields

Fuji fields

Mountain rice

Mountain rice

Mountain road 2

Mountain road 2

Suburban garden

Suburban garden

Fertile ground

Fertile ground

Bamboo grove

Bamboo grove

 

Ten-san

Ten-san

Takenoko

Takenoko

Spread

Spread

 

Joy

Joy

Tatters Reborn

Due to an oversight on my part, all my earlier content has been lost. Being your own web”master” has its disadvantages. I have texts and photos saved for many of the posts and will restore some as time goes on. I now understand with WordPress how to avoid this in the future, so unless all hell breaks loose, I don’t expect a recurrence. I’m sorry if you came looking for a past post and it’s gone. Please email me, using the “Contact” button above, ┬áif you have one in mind and I will put it at the top of the restore list.

Thanks very much for looking. Also, if you want to be notified of new posts I would ask that you subscribe again, if you have RSS capability, using the menu button “Subscribe” above. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Jim

homer