While I lived in Kyoto, I knew when spring approached by the beautiful voices of the Japanese bush warbler, and the many spring flowers, including the Japanese apricot and cherry blossoms.
I lived next to a bamboo forest and my apartment was surrounded by many houses with gardens. It seemed that the inhabitants had lived there over several generations. And each of their gardens had beautiful seasonal foliage. Thanks to them, I became aware of the seasonal changes in a very gentle way. I was nurtured by those flowers and trees which I could see from my windows. They informed me of slight seasonal changes, so I could naturally prepare for the next.
After I moved to Nabari, I lost those sources of support. Now I see a big mountain and rice fields from my window. But they do not show me the slight seasonal changes as before. In Nabari, animals bring signs of seasonal change. Before seeing cherry blossoms, I heard the voices of frogs at night. Before enjoying the full bloom of cherry blossoms, I saw flying swallows. They look so busy.
Before, the signs of spring were the bush warbler, Japanese apricot and cherry blossoms. And now the signs of spring are swallows and frogs. This has been a very interesting shift to me.