The whole spine of Japan really was covered in cherry blossoms, in fifteen million shades between magenta and white. I feel so much more lenient toward all those mannered-seeming poets who swore they couldn’t tell if they were looking at blossoms or snow, after spending fifteen minutes myself staring at what looked like snow on the Eiheiji roof tiles (because Lord, was it a cold morning), pacing back and forth to see if the color shifted and finally realizing it was the reflection of the sky.
Mist around the moon, in those poems, is a sign of spring on the way. Winter is clearer.
The gong rings. Bow to Dōgen’s ashes. Cross the moss bridge and go downhill into town for a hot can of vending machine coffee, hot soba at the souvenir shop.