Saturday, November 05, 2016

Momiji-gari and the pursuit of harmony

The term for it in Japan is "momiji-gari," literally red maple hunting --- broadened in common usage to include the practice of seeking out, then admiring, all colorful fall foliage. Sometimes it's translated as "leaf peeping," but that's a term more familiar in New England than it is in the Midwest. Around here we tend to say, "let's go look at the leaves."

Whatever you call it, it's a wonderfully productive pastime, capable of restoring a sense of order and harmony --- if you calm down and allow it.

I started out Friday afternoon at the cemetery, under a golden maple that now --- as a majority of the leaves are falling --- is the star of the show. The Clore-Hougland family has bedecked family graves under it in complementary colors, enhancing the effect.

Nearby, I found the last of the red maple leaves holding on for dear life, and more.

Then I drove out to Red Haw and followed a short stretch of trail along the lake shore southeast of the campground. The park has added a couple of parking spots during the last couple of years at this trail's junction with the main drive, so it's a convenient place to get to.

Although many of the leaves have fallen from the canopy, the undergrowth along portions of the trail --- mostly honeysuckle --- remains green. Dozens of birds of several varieties are finding refuge here these days and it's a treat to walk among them as they flit silently from branch to branch all around.

Don't waste the day fussing about politics. Go play in the fallen leaves and admire those still hanging on.

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