Now that there is a sense of freedom from the daily routine, my wife and I got talking in bed this morning. The Japanese untranslatable, mono no aware was on the agenda. Trying to explain this expression is like nailing porridge to the wall.
At first, I thought of that night we sat at Lake Garda and watched the most stunning sundown. We both had mixed emotions. That evening: the beauty of the moment was entrancing, but the melancholy of a perfect day ending engendered mixed emotions.
Mono no aware — among other meanings — is about the transience of life. All things must pass and accepting that all things must pass.
A look into the evening sky with a telescope reveals stars that no longer exist, and yet, their light reaches our eyes. The cherry blossoms moment comes and goes. The red admiral has its brief flutter and the summer grass withers.
My sister was in the Scottish highland sightseeing one day. She saw an old man wiping his eyes as he observed the pretty landscape. “Are you okay?” she asked on her approach.
“It’s just like this my dear,” the old man replied, “I see all this beauty and I will not live much longer to enjoy it.”
Hmm! Yes, it appears we are born dying. But I don’t see life as being transient in the permanent sense. “Look, I am making all things new!” is the promise made in Revelation 1:5.
The ancient Oriental, Job spoke of the “Renewal” to come Job14:14.
Jesus promised paradise to the repentant criminal at his death Luke 23: 43.
In 1 John 5: 11 we find the promise that : “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son.”
Man has taken a course of independence from God. However, at the same time, God has left the doors open for any human on this planet to turn to him and find the reassurance that life does not end permanently.
“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:27.