The Winds of Autumn

The first big fall storm swept through our area today, canceling our usual Monday hike, and probably putting on hold any hikes for the rest of the week.

Perhaps if we hadn’t had such a long, beautiful hiking season we would have risked it today, but we would have been drenched.

Deprived of an actual hike in the mountains, I did the next best thing and read Burton Watson’s translation of Saigyo, Poems of a Mountain Home.

How similar all human emotions must be when an 11th Century Japanese poet can so perfectly state my feelings at this particular moment in time.

Even in a person

most times indifferent

to things around him

they waken feelings

the first winds of autumn

No need to state the feelings, to do so would be redundant.

Saigyo even seems to understand why I have been hiking with a particular passion the last three weeks.

Not stopping to mark the trail,

let me push even deeper

into the mountain!

Perhaps there’s a place

where bad news can never reach me!