An autumn rose with lots of new cane growth!
In Japan, the season are as tidily ordered as one might expect. The equinox has just passed, and with it the Higan-e ceremony. Twice a year, at the equinoxes, Buddhist Temples hold special memorial services attended by as many people as can, or this year, are allowed, attend. It's possible to request a service whether or not you can attend.
Buddhists, generally, like memorial services, and can offer them anytime, outside of the big, official ones. Besides Higan-e, there is O-Bon, the summer service when the deceased, and everybody else, come home for a vacation, memorial services and a party. Nobody is bothered by the fact that, what with reincarnation and all, the deceased might no longer be deceased, and might have any number of places to go from their various lifetimes. As human knowledge of physics increases, the rather casual attitude of Buddhism towards the various aspects of time are discovered to be congruent with objective, though slightly confusing, reality.
Memorial services benefit the honorees, transferring merit from Buddhist practice to them. They benefit those offering them, as they are making a positive cause in doing so. Objectively, they provide connection to those who have gone before, maintaining and strengthening relationships over generations, and giving a feeling of continuity through time. Those currently incarnate can only see a part of the whole, being limited to the space and time in which they live, but Buddhist practice gives a glimpse of the Big Picture, reassuring in the midst of saha (material) world chaos.
With Higan-e and the official onset on autumn, it starts to feel like fall. Mornings become crisp, days become shorter. It might rain; sometimes a typhoon blows by. I have turned on my electric fire a couple of times, in its purely decorative mode.
The leaves show signs of turning. Gardens begin to wind down, and the light takes on that golden hue that only appears in the fall. I suppose there is an explanation for this having to do with atmospheric refraction and the like, but I don't care enough about that to look it up. I simply notice its radiance and enjoy it.
Now that I have obtained my household help services, and they have been approved (a couple of weeks after they started) I have been freed as of Saturday to resume Tai Chi and to walk for pleasure and exercise. I can loosen the Giant Brace several times a day to stretch. It feels joyous. I look forward to going out today simply to enjoy basking in the golden light.