haikai

A November with Basho, Day 14

The Gojū-tō Pagoda, near the base of Mount Haguro

Climbed Mount Haguro on the third day of the sixth moon and, with the help of a friend who dyes cloth for mountain monks’ robes, Zushi Sakichi, obtained an audience with the Abbot of Gongen Shrine, Master Egaku, who greeted us warmly…The next day we met at the main temple to write haiku

the winds that blow

through South Valley Temple

are sweetened by snow

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior,” translated by Sam Hammil, the Essential Basho, p. 23

The Virtue of the Climb

The rewards of a hike up mountains is the spectacular views seen from the summit. Mira often compares the experience of such hikes to labor. The pain is forgotten in the glory of fulfillment.

So it was with Greylock in the Berkshires. The long ascent that had left us exhausted brought us views of the surrounding hills and mountain in western Massachussets.

So it was with the steep climb from Glacier Point to Sentinel Dome, where the whole of Yosemite Valley opened before us.

The struggle is worth it.

moutain air

how refreshing

the return

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