05 September, 2012

When Rain Turns to Snow

Frosty Firethorn

when rain
turns to snow
wife with child

1 comment:

Hobbes said...

We had a rather serious winter in England, last year. The snow set in. After longs months of cold, the spring brought rains and warmth - and my dear wife caught the spirit of the season. I wrote this haiku sitting at a teatable a few weeks after we found out the good news.

You may or may not be familiar with the response of a Zen master to the traditional question, "What is Buddhism?". This is a "gotcha" question between Zenji, intended to determine if the rational mind is still clinging to certain ideas. Responses by Zen masters are typically immediate and shocking, designed to strike the mind of the listener, break it out of its revelry, and to bring it back to the present moment, rather than being lost in its thoughts. Suzuki-roshi said:

"Nothing exists but momentarily in its present form and color. One thing flows into another and cannot be grasped. Before the rain stops we hear a bird. Even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops and some new growth. In the East I saw rhubarb already. In Japan in the spring we eat cucumbers."

Much of Suzuki-roshi's lectures live in the back of my mind, affecting my daily experiences. When I wrote about my dear wife, I was thinking of his words "in the spring we eat cucumbers". Everything just as it is, right now.

The image that makes this haiga is from springtime in a past year, showing pyracantha growing in our garden, another fruiting process taking a place as rain turns to snow.

Haiku and haiga are so short, and yet can convey so much. This is why they mean so much to me. I like them very much.