There is a quote by the 17th century Japanese Samurai poet, Masahade, which goes as follows:
‘My house burned down, I can now see better, the rising moon.’
So. It seems pretty clear. It’s all about making the best of a situation, finding the silver lining, so to speak. I personally think that if my house had burned down, a clear view of the rising moon would be only a fleeting consolation, perhaps overtaken by more pressing needs such as shelter and clothing. But I am not a poet , whereas Masahade was – to poets such as he a rising silver moon may have been more important.
Yesterday I had a bit of a Blue Monday. The grey weather matched my mood – niggles about a variety of things clumping together to form a single cloud of unease that coloured my day. Nothing earth-shatteringly bad, just one of those days when things seem a little harder than normal – you know what I mean. Adding to my malaise was the fact that sunset came at 3:56pm, four minutes before I was to collect my daughter from school.
So as I forged through the wind and rain and gathering dark to collect her, I was in a reflective mood. Then I walked past a house which had a string of tiny coloured lights twined through the shrubs beside their front door. The lights winked on and off, a welcome sprinkle of colour in the gloom. And they cheered me to no end.
I am a fan of sparkly lights. Of sparkly things, to be honest. Friends refer to me as a magpie, for I am forever collecting coins and stones and shiny shells. I have fairy lights in my garden all year round, small white stars. I would also like to have them inside the house, but am still looking for the right spot. So this time of year makes me very happy.
And that little string of lights reminded me of Masahade’s quote. And now I (respectfully) offer my own version:
‘As the days grow shorter, I have a better view, of the sparkling lights.’