Untranslatable words – Komorebi, 木漏れ日

Komorebi, 木漏れ日, is a Japanese word to describe the effect of sunlight gently filtering through the leaves of trees, creating a shadow on the ground, walls, or curtains.

The etymology of the word is poetic in itself, with the first character meaning ‘tree’, the second compound 漏れ  meaning ‘leaking, coming through’, and the third  meaning ‘sun, sunlight’. 

Whenever I observe this of interplay between the trees and the sunlight, usually on warm summer afternoons a few hours before the sun sets, I feel a sense of calm and wonder, like the day is coming to a full circle.

 

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