Tuesday, March 16, 2004



As Winter slips away on wisps of ice and Spring draws near on warbler songs, many of the houses on the mountainside that fall empty when the snows begin and the residents head back to the city for Winter (I can't imagine why, but imagination does have its limits) are now coming to life like the mountain itself as the Spring folk return, moving up from downland as the frost level shrinks toward the mountaintop.

Into the fragrance of jinchoge (Daphne) the Spring folk return along the narrow mountain roads, the windows of the upmountain houses one fine morning open to fresh air; then in the evening, lights from the rooms up there, and family sounds drifting down; in the morning, flocks of children run by in country excitement while their elders wander in search of the bright green turbans of butterbur, fiddlehead ferns uncurling, mushrooms swelling in the shadows, Winter silence going the way of Winter as the days fill with hellos

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