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I was thinking of writing some thoughts on free style, jiyu waza from teachers and senpais, but probably next time, because today the weather is typically early autumn and I am reminded of the different ways people think of autumn.
I once gave a little presentation for the ladies of the Long Ridge Book and Garden club. Some of you may remember I mentioned it in the blog entry Alma Mater where I mentioned the song Matsushima, where many elderly ladies got up and did the rowing exercise I showed them with the chant that accompanies the melody. Oops, maybe, I too am getting elderly so I shouldn't call them that. But I was impressed by their eagerness to participate in the spirit of the folk song.
One of them, at the tea that followed those once a month Monday gatherings in the local firehouse auditorium, mentioned that she had visited Japan and was impressed by the yellow leaves all around in a scene they had visited. Yes, there are other impressive colors besides the famous reds and oranges.
I was touched that they took to the topic so well.
In the beginning of the presentation, I mentioned that I had read that in Japan, spring flowers are considered very beautiful, of course, but autumn also is considered equal, and some say it surpasses spring in beauty. In fact, in the Tale of Genji, I seem to remember the court ladies and gentlemen had contests as to who could produce the most beautiful garden. One team picked spring, the other picked autumn. The garden club ladies found this idea fascinating.
This program was years ago, and many of the ladies are no longer with us, at least not in corporeal form. I miss them, but in memory they add a deeper dimension to life, of ideas, thoughts and feelings shared. This too is part of the Japanese autumn, like the deer crying out in the hills of autumn so much a part of Japanese literature.
In contrast we have the bracing air and renewed studies for scholars here in the west. As a reader from Israel mentioned in a previous comment, it is the start of the Jewish New Year and I personally think it is a good time for thoughts of renewed efforts and projects even for those of us who may follow different calendars. For example for the Christian world, January first, which some say was picked for the proximity to the solstice. For the Bahai's I think it is the first day of spring by the Western calendar, so that is another way of looking at "new beginnings."
In Asia, here's an interesting thought for those born in February. If you have been fascinated by the "Asian Zodiac" you may have to choose between the Japanese calendar, which now begins at the same time as the Western, on January first, and the Chinese, which follows the lunar calendar, usually sometime in February. You have to look up your particular year!
Anyway, enjoy the weather's variety, if you live in an area like ours, and the various activities inspired by the brisker weather that is typical of autumn.