Shinnen (the New Year) arrived with death this year. Our beloved Uncle had passed away from a debilitating illness. All of us suffered as we watched him slowly deteriorate. For years he had been the rock and center of our tight-knit family as we immigrated to America from our homeland of Japan. He welcomed and supported each member as they made the passage.
His wake took place at our family’s Buddhist temple. We were heartened to see so many attend and as the rinpoche lit the incense and recited sutras, the visitors filed by the casket. Afterwards, his body was cremated and his ashes collected in an urn that would be placed at the family gravesite where a shallow space was reserved for this purpose. As loved ones gathered for the simple ceremony a few days later, we noticed the quince tree that shaded the site had bloomed. The day before an unexpected snowfall had filled its branches with ice and coated its early, fragile blossoms. As I lingered under the tree, I pictured Uncle happy and dancing at the Isle of the Blessed.
pale pink quince blossoms
heralds in spring and life lost
Join us as at dVerse Poets as Toni presents us with our first Haibun Monday of 2016: http://dversepoets.com/2016/01/11/haibun-monday-5/