Friends near and far, I wish you a Happy New Year! I hope that 2016 brings you peace, safety, love and wonder.
The picture below is “New Year’s Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree, Oji,” by Utagawa Hiroshige. It’s part of his “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo,” a series of prints completed between 1856 and 1859. I’m unfamiliar with the mythology connected with it, but it depicts foxes breathing fire at Shōzoku Inari Shrine (site of the Changing Tree) in Ōji, Tokyo.
It’s quite beautiful, and tonight it just felt right. This is a contemplative New Year’s Eve for me, as I’ve been haunting my childhood neighborhood after visiting family in New York. And I described for my mother at length how beautiful was the fox I found playing along the stream I so often pass down in Virginia.