Snow on bamboo


Woke up to a gentle snowfall, big, soft flakes drifting lazily down from the brightening sky. My bedroom window looks out onto a wall of bamboo, a graceful green barrier that blocks the view to the busy street below. It's easy to convince myself I'm living in the country (some other country!) and not this urban environment. With the snow falling, it is quieter than usual, and the slight breeze sways the bamboo branches in a lilting dance. I understand why the haiku poets in Japan would draw inspiration from bamboo groves—there is an immediacy, a presence, that encourages quiet reflection. Perhaps Issa, the 18th century master, looked out onto a similar scene when he wrote:
    I'm here—
    the snow falling.

I'm here, and this is a lofty way to move into my day. But my stomach is grumbling, reminding me of my mortal limitations. Further contemplation will have to wait until I've eaten breakfast.