Monday, September 7, 2009

Make Way for the New


A seed falls in the ground and is forgotten for some time, until it sprouts out of the earth. During that time, much is going on that escapes perception, even to those who are paying attention. As the plant grows, it slowly asserts itself into the environment, and then one day, it is heavy with it's own fruit.

When I first came to Japan, the rice fields near my apartment were in the mid stages where the cultivators flood the green fields. The bright green is striking. Now, the rice plants are yielding. The seeds come out and hang over the tops of the plants. In time, the rest of the plant turns brown and topples over. I haven't yet figured if this is because the cultivator stopped watering the field, or if the death of the plant is a natural sign of the completion of a process. I'm not the first to notice this cycle as a metaphor for growth and change in out lives. It is a pertinent example to me as I have been thinking about my life these past five weeks and watching the cycles of the rice plants. Recently, also, we passed through the full moon phase, a natural marker for the end of a cycle.

These pictures from nature were appropriate this week as I approach the two-year anniversary of Jin-Sang breaking up with me. Just as the rice plants are dying and making room for a new generation, and just as the moon now returns to the black face of a New Moon, I am at the end of my stages of grieving. For months after the breakup, I counted the months, keeping track of the markers. At the first anniversary, Jin-Sang was married, but I didn't know. Now at two years, I'm seeing the fruits of my own movements towards health and growing. It's time for the new, and I happily understand that the old had to pass, had to make way for something far, far better.