One of the many things that have amazed me in the world is traditional Japanese art and architecture, I’ve always been fascinated by how intertwined buildings and bridges have become synonymous with the Japanese natural world. It’s something, we in the West, have never quite managed to succeed at, with grandiose blocks of bricks and mortar, creating a stark reminder to the natural world of human’s dominance over it. Much of traditional Japanese life respected the natural world and the deep philosophy in which it resided. This also manifested itself in the natural seasons in which we all experience.
In Light Rains Sometimes Fall, Lev Parikian takes us through the 72 Japanese micro seasons, that in their small 5 to 6 days parts highlight the aspect of that particular season, such as March 11th to 15th is the time of “First peach blossoms” and May 21st to 25th being when “Silkworms start feasting on mulberry leaves” leaving our four seasons somewhat left in the cold.
Told during a year of lockdown, Light Rains Sometimes Fall takes us on the author’s more local walks and pays new attention to the nature that is abundant around us. For many, the lockdown was a time to learn more about nature, and for those of us who took advantage of experiencing our local nature hotspots will appreciate the author’s mantra of ‘look, look again, look better’ and the pleasure of being able to identify plants or local birdlife. It is this looking again that is one of the central aspects of the book, and not just to look again but to stop and look closely while the world around has stopped.
Following the success of 2020s Into the Tangled Bank, Lev Parikian in Light Rains Sometimes Fall, a warm and funny account of a year of lockdown helping the reader look at nature with the same beauty and prose in the perfection of the Japanese seasons.
- Light Rains Sometimes Fall by Lev Parikian is published by Elliott and Thompson (£14.99). To order a copy go to eandtbooks.com