It happens each April. I close my eyes, breathe in the green leaves; exhale and hear the nearby train. I feel the Spring rain against my cheeks when I put on the muted green raincoat with the ruffled collar. I pull my bike from storage and immediately am back in “Little Kyoto,” wandering the temples and graveyards. The week in Japan was so short, yet it still haunts me. Six years ago, nearly exactly to this date , I was blindly finding my way around the busiest train station in the world, holding tight to my husband’s hand in a sea of onyx-headed strangers.
It was a last-minute trip. My husband’s work needed him to go to Tokyo, to the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Association and help instruct the students on maintaining their harps. Some of them were just learning; some were involved in harp therapy. One girl was an almost-blind albino. What they all were was kind. They started every school day with meditation and stretches. They studied in a beautiful room of stained glass.
I was lucky enough to go along for the ride. In the mornings we wandered the suburban neighborhood where our apartment was located.
We took advantage of having bikes at our disposal. We spent one day at a temple, where a wedding was taking place.
Under a large tree, there was a place for visitors to write a prayer on a wooden hanger. And of course someone was around sweeping up. Japan is such a clean country. It looked as though they employed people just to hang around parks and temples to sweep up all the leaves!
I couldn’t help but photograph the everyday things that were so different from the United States. Check out the faucet on the tank of the toilet and the CARPET on the seat!
This week, because Spring is TRYING to make its way to the panhandle (even though we had snow yesterday!), I will be sharing photographs from that trip to Tokyo. I t helps me remember that Spring is very near, and in a few short weeks, it will be green here too.