Japan's 72 Microseasons - #6
"Grass Sprouts, Trees Bud"
March 1 - 5
そうもく めばえ いずる
Sōmoku mebae izuru
"Grass sprouts, trees bud"
You ever notice how, all at once, at some point in the year everything around you feels…greener? You’d expect the thousands upon thousands of individual plants in any given area to sort of work on their own schedules, but perhaps they have a calendar of their own. Maybe unspoken, or maybe just unheard.
Whatever the botanical signal, Kō 6 is when the muddy ground and bare trees, having been stirred awake back in Kō 4, all at once make known the early results of their hidden activity. Perhaps things you started at the turn of this year are beginning to bear fruit? Or at least a few little yellow-green buds? (If not, that doesn’t necessarily mean things aren’t happening under the surface!)
You need not be out in the forest to experience this emergence of greenery in your environment. As in the picture above, life can spring out of anywhere there’s a bit of soil, sunlight, and moisture. In this way, even the concrete and asphalt of our cities bloom with the new yearly cycle of growth.
Speaking of urban greenery, there’s two great Japanese Instagram accounts I’d recommend if you, like me, enjoy the sight of plant life growing on its own terms in our built environments: mizunuki_association and botaworks.
If I can encourage anything in these newsletters, it’s to take some time every few days to consciously and purposefully notice how the natural world around you is changing little by little, in so many different small places and ways. It’s a refreshing break from the numbers and letters of our more structured time. But if not, a social media account with nice pictures is a good alternative.
I’ll have to leave us there for now. This week’s been busy with, appropriately, preparations for a trip back to Japan to visit. However, much like blades of grass suddenly shooting up from dark soil, all manner of other things have decided to pop out at the same time. I may, if time allows, follow up on this kō with a short 6.5 to cover some of the language and culture things we didn’t get to talk about. But, for now, let’s see what grows.
See you next kō~
Keep up with the seasons
#7 and #8 will be written in Japan, so I’ll tell you how accurate the kō are for 2023