There are few things more poetic than patches of sunlight peeking through a canopy of leaves. Sunbeams falling through the forest, or when the light catches and highlights a single plant or stone. The Japanese language, rich in poetic words relating to nature, has the exact word for this beauty that stirs something deep inside many of us: komorebi. Welsh poet Dylan Thomas spoke of “rivers of windfall light”*, a world flooded with light that came without any effort on his part.
Join me on a break from the restoration works on an afternoon stroll in the woods. There’s a soft breeze underneath Lescure’s solitary chestnut tree. As I look up, my glance goes beyond the gently dancing leaves, inside the dappled light that’s offering glimpses of another world. I bathe in translucent shades of green, a thin veil to a timeless realm of great imagination. But there’s a touch of sadness too. It’s not precipitated by anything, irrational but palpable, so I sink into it. It feels like heartache over a loss, something that now exists only as a memory.
Perhaps I’m just feeling melancholic about the cycle of life. Loss and renewal. Winter, lingering as if resisting change, has finally given way to a chilly and reluctant spring, and so much has changed in one year. Life as we knew it has shifted forever. Divisive emotions cloud our skies across the world and we all feel disoriented to some degree, the weight of transformation bearing down on us.
On this edge of not knowing, I anchor myself through my imagination and creativity, and by connecting to friends and family – despite not being able to travel and hug people, my relationship with many of them has deepened. And more than ever before, I trust my soul’s whisperings. I’ve known for a lifetime that my soul craves beauty more than anything. So, back to the restoration chores it is. I commit to life by getting myself out of bed every morning to unlock the dormant beauty of this estate, allowing my inner story to unfold along the way.
Friends, I hope the sun shines for you, and you can bask in rivers of windfall light and follow your inner spark, wherever you are.
*From the arcadian poem Fern Hill. It is about childhood’s end, and how youth passes never to return.Thomas uses beautiful images, describing the sunlight in the orchard as rivers of windfall light. Windfall refers to the apples fallen from the trees, but the word has a secondary meaning of good fortune.