There is a Japanese concept named mono no aware. It is the “ahhness of things” or “the bittersweet poignancy of things” or “the sadness or pathos of things.”
I love this description best from this Japan Times article:
the appreciation of things in the shadow of their future absence.
The spring blossoms are out in the city of Toronto. We went to see them when I was there for a short visit. The cherry trees and magnolias are in full bloom. Social media and news outlets heavily cover these events this week because it is a beautifully brief occurrence. People come all over the city to walk amidst the trees and along the path-lined pink petals. Here in Costa Rica, it is summer forever but after awhile, I have noticed subtle changes in the sounds (the cicadas are back) and vibrancy of colour.
Like in 2019, on May 7, I commit to staying in this theme of beauty and “to tune into this deeper connection of the beauty of change and the paradox of emotions that run through it, like the veins in marble – distinct combinations of impurities that formed into these delicate striating giving the stone its unique crystallized appearance over time. Rocks can change too.”
In 2019, I wrote:
The new owners of our old house cut down the magnolia tree and we all grieved when we found out. Last week we looked out the window of their grandparents’ house and saw one in full bloom. Now we see the beauty both as loss and as something found again – the tree itself and the memories that soften and eventually fade where the emotions ran so sharp.– Me, 2019
A few weeks ago, I was there again, witnessing this same tree at my in-laws place in full bloom and so much larger and full of beauty than before. I, too, was full – full of both gratitude that my children are so loved and cared for and of a different beautiful grief – the knowledge that time with my children diminishes as they continue to grow and blossom.
- Write or draw “sudden beauty without a name”. You can use words or images to describe the thing that can’t be named.
- Orient yourself to beauty today. How do you see the world? How does it make you feel?
- Copy the poem:
The Day Will Bring Some Lovely Thing
By Grace Noll Crowell
The day will bring some lovely thing,
I say it over each new dawn,
Some gay, adventurous thing to hold
Against my heart when it is gone,
And so I rise and go to meet
The day with wings upon my feet.
I come upon it unaware,
Some sudden beauty without name,
A snatch of song, a breath of pine,
A poem lit with golden flame-
High tangled bird notes keenly thinned
Like flying color on the wind.
No day has ever failed me, quite
Before the grayest day is done,
I come upon some misty bloom,
Or a late line of crimson sun.
Each night I pause, remembering,
Some gay, adventurous, lovely thing.