transitions – – haibun

In winter snow stays for a while, shrinking or firming into frozen crystals. Landscape colours evolve from white to brown, yellow, green…and the feeling of cold shivers between ache and bite.

In this corner of the Northern Hemisphere, some say winter begins on December Solstice (21st), while others call it winter when snow falls and temperatures dip below freezing…that was in November this year in Ontario southeast, where winter banished autumn by mid-November.

When Solstice arrives, four days before Christmas, our descent into darkness will end and the slow return of longer days will begin.

Whether we call the season autumn, winter, or spring, the earth, sun and moon are faithful to their paths, their geometries of light. As Solstice approaches, I notice winter has strengthened its hold and I have surrendered. How gracefully then will I rise and accept the light as it returns?


winter hours

wrapped in wool mending

inner tides


©️2019 Ontheland

This haibun began as a response to Day 16 of Frank Tassone’s November with Basho, but it also touches on the Haikai Challenge theme, December Solstice. The excerpt selected from Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Interior for Day 16 concludes with these words:

We composed a round of haiku, bid farewell, and started by boat down the Mogami bound for Sakata Harbor…

From Hot Sea Mountain

southward to Windy Beach

the evening cools

Basho, ‘The Narrow Road to the Interior” translated by Sam Hamill, The Essential Basho, p.25

25 thoughts on “transitions – – haibun

  1. Gosh this is beautiful. I had forgotten the power of a good haibun to evoke both a mood and sense of place. Reading yours snapped me out of my writing doldrums. I’m off to Frank’s site now to take a look at his latest prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Suzanne! In case it is the Narrow Road to the Interior series you are looking for… he did 23 posts as a project called “November with Basho” . In the first one he invited others to respond to his excerpts. I have been doing just that but at a much slower pace. But I’m thinking that maybe you’re thinking of Frank’s weekly Haikai Challenge and of course the recent link is on this post. Hope you find the kind of spark you need 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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