The lilacs and the azaleas are lovely, but it is the ant hills that are dearest to my heart. The never-failing punctuality of those intent beings annually impresses and moves me. Yes, yes, I am quite aware of the dangers of anthropomorphization. But the sight of the humble yet brave sand mounds rising in the seams of the sidewalks right on schedule each May provokes tender feelings, and I cannot help but feel that we and the ants are companions in this journey of ours. Which means that I can be accused of sentimentality as well, I suppose. So be it. An anthropomorphizing sentimentalist I am.
I do know this: long after I have returned to the dust, the ant hills will continue to rise each May. I find this comforting, a source of serenity and equanimity.
Flowers and Moonlight on the Spring River
The evening river is level and motionless --
The spring colours just open to their full.
Suddenly a wave carries the moon away
And the tidal water comes with its freight of stars.
Yang-ti (Seventh Century) (translated by Arthur Waley), in Arthur Waley, One Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems (Constable 1918).
Fairlie Harmar (1876-1945), "L'Aveyron" (c. 1932)