Wednesday, May 28, 2014

strong in the rain

I've been waiting for some good rain days to share this poem. I love it. I found it in the book, Soul Food, which is on the recommended shelf above.

Strong in the Rain 

by Kenji Miyazawa
translation by Roger Pulvers

Strong in the rain
Strong in the wind
Strong against the summer heat and snow
He is healthy and robust
Free from desire
He never loses his temper
Nor the quiet smile on his lips
He eats four go of unpolished rice
Miso and a few vegetables a day
He does not consider himself
In whatever occurs
His understanding
Comes from observation and experience
And he never loses sight of things
He lives in a little thatched-roof hut
In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove
If there is a sick child in the east
He goes there to nurse the child
If there’s a tired mother in the west
He goes to her and carries her sheaves
If someone is near death in the south
He goes and says, ‘Don’t be afraid’
If there are strife and lawsuits in the north
He demands that the people put an end to their pettiness
He weeps at the time of drought
He plods about at a loss during the cold summer
Everybody calls him Blockhead
No one sings his praises
Or takes him to heart

That is the sort of person
I want to be

This is what I want to be like, as well. Someone who does her work, for the sake of the work itself. Not because I'm hoping for praise, not because I hope someone will take me to heart. 

This goes for my day job, this goes for my writing. 

I want to be strong in the winter snow, strong in the rain. I know I fall short, I constantly fall short. 

The garden is coming on now. The vine is always late, but it's on its way.

The bird in the rain and the still greening yard.

Everything is at the beginning. The pink dahlias.

The apple tree, you can see, has begun to blossom.

The mock orange bushes in our front yard always seem to love the rain. Their blossoms seem to come after all the others. After the apple and mock plum blossoms and even after the lilacs.

I'm still at the stage of spring where the colour green, that alone, is a wild miracle.


  1. This attitude towards one's work is so simple, but not always so easy! Enjoy your miraculous, greening yard, it looks lovely after the rain:)

  2. I love your line 'everything is at the beginning' - that is a light I like to use. Wishing you a nice weekend :)


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