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Wrapped Around A White Chrysanthemum [entries|friends|calendar]
The Reflections of a Snow Fox

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Ritual [20 Oct 2006|09:38am]
[ mood | serene ]

The rush of night rain
Purifies the dark, before
Dawns golden blessing


Flooding the heavens, a torrential downpour spilled from the sky, leaving the earthly world awash in star steeped celestial waters. There was an intrinsic tranquility to the steady cleansing, a place of peace similar to submersion beneath a waterfalls unrelenting roar: there are no thoughts, no self, only existence. When at last the rain had tapered off and clouds whisked from the pale horizon, a new forest was prepared to meet the morning light.

2 In The Temple | Step Out of the Snow

Tiny Lords [16 Oct 2006|06:23pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

With courtly black hats
Bold heian nobles take flight
In beige feathered robes


With a swift flutter of silvered feathers, an ever intrepid chickadee perched a mere inch from my hand, studying me. After a nonchalant moment, the curious black capped little scholar finally bobbed its head in approval, carefully selecting a seed from between my fingers. Instead of flittering off it stayed on the feeder I was attempting to fill, pecking the ebony sunflower shell open with quick, poised strokes. Another joined it, landing with an elegant flourish, and the two began a thoughtful conversation of inquisitive chirps. Of all the birds that frequented the forest, they were unquestionably the most endearing.

Step Out of the Snow

The Shift [14 Oct 2006|07:51pm]
[ mood | tranquil ]


In the morning hush
With each falling leaf's flutter
I hear seasons change


Standing on the smooth granite surface of a rock jutting from the rich, dark earth, I closed my eyes and listened carefully. Tiny birds puffed on branches stirred to greet the cold dawn with warm sparks of song, while the first rays of sun pierced into the woodlands to thaw the lingering night shadows. Every few moments there would come a series of soft sounds, the faint noise of a single leaf spiraling down through the layered canopy, brushing other leaves in its decent until it finally settled on the forest floor. After a brief pause, another would follow. This was the sound of the leaves dropping, the most subtle song of summer giving way to autumn.

Step Out of the Snow

Fall Fire [08 Oct 2006|09:19am]
[ mood | delighted ]

The inner forest
Glows from the burning brilliance:
Blazing autumn trees


A chilled mist clung to the forest floor, an ethereal veil of white wrapped around the base of each tree, folded over stones and snagged on briars. Gliding down from ripening vines, dry grape leaves of hammered gold scattered across the rich, dewy grass. Behind emerald curtains of foliage, the canopy was illuminated with strokes of scarlet and washes of crimson, tints of tangerine and patches of saffron. The scent of hearth smoke tinged the refreshing cold air, while the first fallen leaves crunched softly beneath my feet. Autumn has finally arrived.

Step Out of the Snow

Enchanting Storm [12 Jun 2006|01:36pm]
[ mood | thrilled ]

A flurry of white
Cotton flower trees send forth
Silken summer snow


Drifting down in warm swirling clouds, the plumed seeds spread across the azure sky like the gentle afterthought of a fanciful daydream. Each gust of wind rising from the river released a new, beautiful blizzard of sunlit fluffs that floated across the open bridge. The soft flakes twirled and tossed over the old stonework, spinning towards shoreline trees and skimming across the salted water below.

Step Out of the Snow

Radiant Being [09 Jun 2006|08:51am]
[ mood | curious ]

The hazy maiden
Wrapped in glowing gossamer
Hides behind the moon


Floating slowly through the imperial night, the heavenly mirror fixed its shinning disk upon the cold mantel of indigo solitude. The moon reigned in regal silence, set before a glittering court of flickering stars and lapis pagodas. Reflecting its divine light upon the shadowed expanses of the earth, the ivory orb illuminated even the darkest seas and most barren mountains with rays of silver. Delicate wisps of translucent clouds wrapped around its gentle, timeless form, as if the robes of a shy celestial princess were peeking out from behind its mighty throne.

Step Out of the Snow

Tradition [07 Jun 2006|07:04am]
[ mood | touched ]

Flaring in the dark
A gold firefly sparks
Summer memories


Waiting beneath the wonder of a star scattered night sky, I listened intently to the abstract sounds that sifted from the shadowed wood. The air was cool and dewy, carrying the exquisite sweetness of wild honey suckle and ruffled peonies. Between a backdrop of branches and glistering darkness, a tiny golden flame ignited, accelerating through the forest in a brilliant streak. Another small light, more emerald in tone, flashed suddenly from beneath the underside of a thin maple leaf. The first fireflies of the celebrated season had appeared at last.

4 In The Temple | Step Out of the Snow

Rejuvenation [05 Jun 2006|02:10pm]
[ mood | delighted ]

With purified notes
One sparrow sings in the rain
His song cleansed anew


Falling from the silver wrought heavens, the flowering earth was further blessed with the warm, celestial summer water. It soaked deep into the soil, washing the smooth maple leaves until they glowed green against the dark, textured tree trunks. The living world hushed, listening to the subtle sound of the rain. All save one bird, a house sparrow which perched proudly atop our small stone feeder. It sang and sang, each note a passionate celebration of renewal, a triumph of joy, as water splashed off its tiny brown form.

2 In The Temple | Step Out of the Snow

Reflections [04 Jun 2006|08:26am]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

The gentle current
Carries my sorrow beyond
Still islands of moss


Stepping softly through the clear waters of the wetlands, leafy tangles of watercress and uncurling fiddle ferns brushed against my bare legs. Using the unhurried stream as a trail I wondered deeper into the forest marsh, where unseen flowers bloomed each summer in this sanctuary of fireflies. A hidden water realm so pure and peaceful, that there was no need for thought as I moved. Resting on the sloped trunk of a white oak that slanted across the flowing pathway, I quietly laid my black wrapped iaito across my lap. Closing my eyes, I allowed the gentle pull of water to cleanse my heart, until only the relief of truth remained.

5 In The Temple | Step Out of the Snow

Lessons [02 Jun 2006|09:53pm]
[ mood | excited ]

Awkward but eager
The orange kitten seeks out
Teachings of tigers


Kneeling in seiza on the firm padded mat of the dojo, I suddenly realized that my posture had become increasingly incorrect. My arms were neatly tucked in and my hands rested evenly, but instead of sitting up straight I had gradually leaned forwards out of subconscious enthusiasm, trying to soak in each word that the our two visiting Sensei’s spoke. Though overwhelmed by my own inexperience, I was more so moved by how fortunate I was to sit in on such a class.

4 In The Temple | Step Out of the Snow

Ritual [29 May 2006|10:30pm]
[ mood | calm ]

Soaking the edges
Dew washes my hakama
With the scent of dawn


Still carrying the chill of night, the flat garden stones were refreshingly cool beneath my bare feet, just beginning to thaw in the soft morning light. The air was rich and clean, as if it had never before been breathed by another creature. Animals stirred within the woods, their movements tranquil and precise as they sifted through fallen leaves, seeking out the shoots of summer’s new growth. Deep green grasses, yet untouched by sun, gently washed my feet with each step I took towards the forests serene edge.

Step Out of the Snow

First Light [26 May 2006|07:53am]
[ mood | cheerful ]

Sneaking through the woods
Golden rays of sun ambush
Unwary shadows


Sitting on the worn wooden swing beneath a thick canopy of wild grapes, I watched the grey fragments of sky between forest branches shift hues, ultimately becoming pristine pieces of clear blue. Thin shafts of sunlight sifted through the leaves, shinning into dense woodlands to melt the lingering night shadows hiding out in rocky gullies of tangled briars and uncurling ferns. Illuminated speckles of gold crept across the shade saturated deep green of our backyard, highlighting wild violets. With often unnoticed, subtle glory, another serene summer day had begun.

Step Out of the Snow

Silver Dreams [25 May 2006|06:53am]
[ mood | peaceful ]

Beneath the window
Crisp satin pillows are cooled
By summer moonlight


Curling into the comfort of soft cream colored quilts, I drew one of the smooth brocade pillows closer, tucking it gently beneath my head. Turning to rest my cheek against the plush square, I was delighted to discover that the pillows sanguine surface was infused with a refreshing evening chill. Moonlight filtered in through the open window, highlighting the darkness with serene, healing silver, carrying the sweet fragrance of night blossoms. Though awake, I felt as if I was already dreaming.

Step Out of the Snow

Discreet Escape [22 May 2006|10:58pm]
[ mood | amused ]

With a clack of shells
The painted turtles vanish
Into a ripple


Lacquered forms stacked haphazardly upon the sunken branch, the elegantly domed reptiles rested contently in the last rays of the late afternoon sunlight. Piled together in an assortment of different sizes, their gold streaked heads swiveled to study my approaching form upon the waters edge. Turning away to observe a fussing chickadee, I heard a brief almost ceramic clatter from across the pond. When I quickly glanced back at the submerged tree limb it was empty, with one deep ripple spreading from its edge.

2 In The Temple | Step Out of the Snow

Portending Tones [21 May 2006|09:06pm]
[ mood | surprised ]

Sounding in alarm
Wind chimes forewarn the approach
Of a sudden storm


Clashing together in a cacophony of urgent notes, the usually tranquil tones of our hand-tuned chimes were reduced to harsh, chaotic melodies in the intense unwonted winds. Rushing onto the deck curiously, I discovered that the balmy day had been smothered in churning steel clouds and sharp gusting breezes. Concerned, I began carrying our recently acquired unplanted flowers into the safety of the small greenhouse, and no sooner had I secured the last tray then an impossible icy downpour of hail violently assaulted the yard. The utterly bizarre weather incident passed as quickly and strangely as it had come, the fragile flowers having been spared by the wind chimes alert.

Step Out of the Snow

The Messenger [20 May 2006|09:04pm]
[ mood | elated ]

Noble call piercing
A hawk waits in our garden
To greet this dawn fox


Before the sky had lightened beyond a soft silver hue, I was awakened by a bird of prey's unmistakable cry, boldly shattering the meditative pre-morning stillness. With a smile of realization I quietly hurried outside, pulling on my azure robe as I slipped down the stairs and onto the dewy deck. Perching on our rose of sharon tree, the small sharp-shinned hawk called out again, and I was overcome with delight, having deeply missed the two different raptors that frequented our backyard. With a final, fierce triumphant cry he alighted into the air and soared into the still shadowed forest.

Step Out of the Snow

Evening Arrival [19 May 2006|08:26pm]
[ mood | enlivened ]

Chirping in the night
Peep frogs welcome my return
To the spring marshes


Standing in the cool, idyllic darkness, the night branches are embellished with resplendent stars sparkling mutely against the deep indigo sky. Resounding from within the forest, tiny frogs symphonize together, while cricket's duet with the melodic wind rustling through the underbrush. Though I can not quite make out the silhouettes of our gardens, I catch a faint scent of lilies drifting up from below. How wonderful it is to be home again.

Step Out of the Snow

Life Defying Death [16 May 2006|07:41pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]

Tragedy born, who
will care for the trembling fawn
Beside the doe's corpse?


Dark concrete covered in brilliant streaks of carnelian, the deer lay lifelessly beside the road, centered in a crimson puddle. Her velvet coat shone like golden mahogany in the late afternoon sunlight, svelte limbs and delicate ankles frozen at awkward angles. An unintentional funeral procession of cars trafficked past slowly, pulling out of her lane to avoid the squad car parked in front of her body. As we drove past I turned, glimpsing a heart wrenching scene: A lone police officer kneeled protectively over a new born fawn, apparently birthed from the trauma of its mother's death, still too young to even stand. He cradled its struggling body affectionately with one hand and used the other to calmly call in with a walkie-talkie. Having nothing truly useful to contribute aside from prayers for the death of one creature and the life of another, we could only drive on.

2 In The Temple | Step Out of the Snow

Sunrise Hymn [15 May 2006|07:11pm]
[ mood | enraptured ]

Dawn illuminates
The green stained glass leaves of spring
A feather choir sings


Awakening while the world still slept, I slipped outside to stand on the porch, watching the twilight creatures stir before hints of rose brushed the horizon. The air was cool and refreshing upon my bare arms, and birds flitted from branch to branch, calling out to celebrate the approaching ascension of the sun. Soon their clear silver melodies spread through the forest, and the new day began to the orchestration of hundreds of simultaneous songs.

Step Out of the Snow

Tranquil Bliss [14 May 2006|02:56pm]
[ mood | enthralled ]

Though laying in sunlight
It is the shadows embrace
That warms my heart


Curled beside the enormous picture window, I rested under the golden rays slanting in through the thick canopy of oak trees outside. Eyes closed beneath the suns warm touch, my mind drifted pleasantly, floating through the still waters of serenity without a ripple of concern. As I shifted slightly to stay within the expanse of sun, his shadowed arms gently drew me closer. With a serene smile I hugged him tightly, resting my head on the softly starched cotton shirt covering his chest. Beneath the ivory material, I could hear the subtle but steady rhythm of his halcyon heartbeat.

Step Out of the Snow

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