The Suitcase Lady


February 26, 2019, 9:39 pm

I have a Japanese American friend who is more observant of nature than anyone I have ever known. Her connection to and understanding of the natural world is simply astounding, and I have long wondered how her senses have come to be so finely honed.

Recently, entirely by accident, I have discovered a clue. The ancient Japanese calendar had 72 seasons in which the tiniest seasonal changes in flora, fauna and weather were meticulously recorded. To this day, the influence of this “slow” calendar are apparent in the Japanese culture.

Compare 72 seasons in a year to our recognition of the seasonal turnings. In every school I visit, class decorations are apples and colored leaves in autumn, snowflakes in winter, flowers in spring and nothing in summer as we are all on vacation from school.

Imagine a calendar where approximately every five days a new season is noted and celebrated. And here is the good news. We don’t have to imagine this. An exquisite 72 season calendar has been recreated and can come to us on our computers. I took particular delight in this week’s post because the seasonal features involved cats and chicory, two things I love. But every week is grand and opens our eyes to the small wonders constantly unfolding all around us.

Of course, depending on where we live, our 72 seasons will be different from the Japanese ones. Our latitudes and longitudes don’t coincide. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the poets, artists and nature lovers in our habitats could create a 72 season calendar for our locales?


Here is the current season…

There is no website for a display of the 72 seasons, but there is an app for tablets and smartphones. Here is a link for continued access.



1 Comment for this entry

  • Evie Robillard

    Mary–this is delightful. I’m so glad you shared this with us. Now I’m going to see if I can also subscribe . . .