by Tab Moura
I have a confession to make, I am one of those plant ladies. I’m in the fan club, but I didn’t used to be. I guess that’s not that big of a surprise, considering my track record. These days my arms aren’t big enough to collect all of the pretty pinecones I find on a hike; and I may or may not buy plants from Walmart, knowing they need rehabilitation (because they don’t deserve to die like that!) I’m a late bloomer, but I’m definitely a hippy now.
When I first found my word to focus on this year, I was just scrolling Pinterest for blog inspiration. I am visual, so I tend to look for mood boards or unique words to help me stir up ideas. But when I saw the word “Komorebi,” I was not inspired, or stirred… I was annoyed.
Komorebi means ‘Sunlight, as it filters through trees.’ This is a kind of light show you may see when the sun sets behind the trees.
I first read this word in 2019, not long after I learned I was having seizures. I spent most of that year unable to drive— because of Komorebi. While driving, the light filtering through trees acted as a strobe light, too much too fast… it gave me migraines, and on one occasion it led to a partial seizure that caused me to forget where I was (that was the last time I drove for a while).
One could say that Komorebi derailed parts of my life. I say all of this to explain the depth of my relationship with this word so that you can appreciate how I came to choose this word as my focus for 2021.
Something I realized, when I began spending more time in nature, is that Komorebi was not actually too much; it was me who was moving too fast to tolerate it. Light and shadows; dance partners complementing each other as though they’ve done this since the beginning of time. Going for a stroll outside, watching the sunlight dance through the trees, is an incredibly spiritual and clarifying meditation.
Due to my disabilities, the only time I used to see the dang Komorebi was while driving, because back then I spent most days in bed. But I have similar experiences with socializing or trying to work… I had my foot on the gas and didn’t even realize how much I was missing, because it was hard to appreciate at that speed.
Obviously, I’m talking about more than driving. Even at my most disabled, I didn’t want to slow down enough to be present for the highs and lows of everyday life. Who knows, perhaps I just didn’t know how. Many things I tried to enjoy were wildly unsuccessful— because I was focused on arriving, not the journey.
So my first lesson from Komorebi is this: In a world that asks us to be bigger, better, faster, and smarter… I challenge you to have a big heart, be good, stay focused, and try to be wise.