even poorly plantedby Kobayashi Issa
English version by David G. Lanoue
Original Language Japanese
even poorly planted
slowly, slowly... green!
|-- from The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology), Edited by Ivan M. Granger|
/ Image by Andriyko Podilnyk /
There is something healing about this haiku.
These words suggest to me that no matter how imperfect we imagine our circumstances to be—lack of education, finances, travel, guidance, whatever we think is missing and holding us back—still we inexorably grow green. Spirit awakens in us with utter disregard to the limiting details of our lives. And what is truly beautiful is the unique ways that greenness comes upon us. The story we get to share with the world is the specific way that spirit rises in us, the special path it finds around the obstacles that make up our individual lives, and how we are often strengthened by this navigation.
While daily life itself may have its challenges and struggles, that greening process, well, it just happens—slowly, patiently, naturally. All we have to do is let it.