Here in the Northeast, we observe four seasons and either celebrate or rue the seasonal changes that dictate our wardrobe, our activities, and our house and garden projects.

In Japan, however, the traditional Japanese calendar divides the year into 24 major divisions which are each split again into three for a total of 72 kö (or micro-seasons) that last around five days each. In their present form, these 72 “seasons” offer a poetic journey through the Japanese year, exemplifying a culture infused with deep sensitivity and appreciation for the nuances of nature.

Inspiring me to walk through each day with senses wide open to the wonders around me, here are a few of the beautifully lyrical descriptions of Japan’s seasonal changes: Spring wind thaws the ice; Brush warbler starts singing in the mountains; First Cherry blossoms; Distant thunder; Wild geese fly north; Bamboo shoots sprout; Rotten grass becomes fireflies; Hawks learn to fly; Evening cicadas sing; Maple and Ivy turn yellow; North wind blows leaves from the trees . . . .

What about you? What seasonal beauty speaks to you on this November day?

Gratefully shared by Betty Hanselman, Gardener’s wife,

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