The autumn chill;
Every place I live in
Belongs to another.
We have entered the time for autumn hokku. Autumn is when Nature withers, and the energies of life go inward. It is also a time of migration for birds and animals, and so is connected to travel among humans as well.
This hokku gives us a sense that we are all transients on earth, just passing through. Some people are able to own houses and “put down roots,” but for many, life is a sequence of rentals, always living in a building that belongs to someone else, always at the whim of circumstance. But there is a truth in that; nothing here really belongs to us. Nothing here can really be ours. Nothing here will last.
The verse is based on a hokku by Issa that is usually translated differently; but this rendering is better, and has a deeper significance.