Bashō and Summer Nights

Our incense burner outdoors last night

Dinner: Our own garden greens with store-bought avocado, almonds, watermelon, and carrot.

Now, the days begin getting shorter. At first, we won’t notice it; but by September, these wonderful, long, golden summer evenings will begin to fade away.

It’s something to be sad about, but it’s nature’s way. Last night, we burned Tibetan healing incense outdoors as a salutation to the sun, and as an offering of comfort and compassion for all sentient beings. Have you ever offered incense outdoors? I love it. There’s something about a gentle breeze carrying the fragrance to the sky, while swirls of smoke weave their way through the gardens.

Dinner last night was a big salad of our own garden lettuces, arugula, kale, and Italian parsley, with store-bought almonds, watermelon, avocado, and carrots, dressed in a simple olive oil balsamic vinaigrette. Eating garden food I’ve grown myself on the summer solstice? I don’t see how life gets sweeter than that.

Japanese haiku (hokku) poet Matsuo Basho always captured simply and beautifully, in the style of haikai no renga, the exquisite sensory experiences of the seasons. This is my favorite of his summer haikus:

I clap my hands
and to the echo day dawns
the summer moon

Live in peace.

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