Komorebi.

Isn’t it beautiful that the Japanese language has a word for this? Sunlight filtering through leaves, and the gentle, moving shadows it creates, is one of the most lovely things God has given us, but it is one that is so often ignored or taken for granted. Simply knowing that there is a word for this has given me a greater awareness and appreciation for it.

In fact, as I sit here by my computer, surfing away, a perfect silhouette of the maple tree outside my window has crept into a square of light on the wall. I don’t know how long it has been there for me to see, and I don’t know how much longer it will last, but for now my throat is filling with wonder and gratitude.

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7 thoughts on “Komorebi.

  1. I am rather distrustful of these almost too-good-to-be-true words. Fortunately, I’m wrong in this case: komorebi exists, and can be found in contemporary Japanese dictionaries, I see on Wiktionary. Also, it seems to be an old word, as the first syllable would be ‘ki’ if it were a modern coinage.
    I agree, Elisabeth, that having a word for something can help to appreciate the thing itself. In my first language, Dutch, we do not really have a word for ‘moon shadow’ (though we could easily use maanschaduw). But ever since hearing the English word, I like it when I see a shadow being cast by the moon.

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    • Hello, Gaston! I’m the same way, with distrusting this type of word. That probably says something about my cynical nature… I was simply delighted when I discovered that it was true. And what an interesting fact about that first syllable! I didn’t know about that difference, so thank you for sharing.

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  2. Ok now this is just a beautiful word, thanks for sharing it! I have to say the Japanese always seem to have the best ones. ‘Komorebi’ is now my second favourite Japanese term after ‘Meraki’ – which I only learned earlier this year – it means to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work.

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