Wow, love this imagery!
At the beginning of September I came back to my birthplace. Nothing of my mother remained. The grass in front of mother’s room had withered in the frost. Everything had changed. The hair of my brother and sisters was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. We could only say, “We are fortunate to be still alive.” Nothing more. My elder brother opened an amulet case and said reverently to me, “Look at mother’s white hair. You have come back after such a long time. So this is like the jewel box of Urashima Taro. Your eyebrows have become white.” We wept for a while and then I composed this verse:
if taken in my hand
it would vanish in hot tears
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
The soil was where our story began ~
We were farmers and during the coldest winter, harshest depression, or strictest…
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