Since I was a child, I have always been enchanted by the sunlight filtering through the leaves. I recently learned, in one of those viral “repost” things–this one being about non-English words that encapsulate an experience that we don’t have a single word for in English–that there is a Japanese word for this. Komorebi. It seems appropriate that the language, culture and aesthetic that has a word like “hanami” (the act of viewing cherry blossoms in the spring, as well as a festival associated with the occasion) and another traditional festival associated with the act of viewing autumn colours, would also have a word that describes this phenomenon.
But, much as I love the sight of sunlight filtering through leaves–and I do love that interplay of light, colour, shadow and movement–the thing that I might love even more is the dance of the shadows of leaves, branches, blossoms or buds. I’m not sure why, particularly given that komorebi itself is so bright, and I so love the way that sunlight and shadows interact with colours, transforming them from one moment to the next. I feel a deep, welling joy when I see that interplay. Continue reading