Monday, September 21, 2020

Respect for the Aged Day and Morning Glories

The third Monday of September is Respect for the Aged Day, 
a nationwide celebration to the elderly for their countless contributions 
 to family, society, and country.    

Both parents and parents-in-law of mine are not in this world 
but I have an uncle in his late 80s.  
The photo below is the lobby of the building he lives with his wife.  
Established in the bubble economy time (late 1980s), the assisted-living condo 
looks like a gorgeous resort hotel. 
The slow-moving residents live independently and are taken care when in need. 
Because of the aftereffect of stroke in this spring, my uncle is taken care in the nursery section.
I haven't seen him for a while due to the corona crisis.

Ageing is not deterioration but natural progression. 
"You’re only as old as you feel."   
 I'd like to enjoy my age to liberate oneself and to discover what really brings joy and serenity.  
I also would like to be green and perky like the plant above, but not in a pot,
keeping it in mind that the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.


Morning glory, "Asa-gawo" meaning "morning face" in Japanese, blooms at sunrise and wilts around noon.
One day flower can be enjoyed only TODAY.

They perform best in the full sunlight.

Morning glories in the pots have flowered one after another every morning in my garden
from July and will keep flowering for a while.

The ones as the green curtains to shield from sunlight on the west side of my house, 
however, were in the miserable condition when the rainy season ended.

But soon they regained strength and thrived.
They are flowering one by one still now.

Left; outside the window
Right; the green curtain seen through “sudare” blind right outside the window,
both to shield openings of the house from sunlight. 

The big event of F and Y during their too short summer holiday was 
ballet recital with audience of only families. 
The boy Y living nearby could enjoy a little longer break full of colorful events with M.
The school graders went back to school life in the 38C life-threatening heat of August, 
and of the record hottest September.

The bullet photos are from the last year.
Annual poster contest to raise public awareness about well-being of deer.
Y wrote "Watch over tenderly!"

Suddenly air turned to be fresh and crisp last week after the long, long sizzling days.
Time for me to resume travelling and blogging.

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Monday, August 3, 2020

Summer Travels to Japan Alps region

It's August!  The prolonged long rainy season is over at last.

At this time of year, my husband and I are always in the mood for travelling.

To get away from the dreadful heat and humid, we would often have 

a trip to our favorite Japan Alps region, highlands and mountains of 

Nagano, Gifu, Toyama, and Nigata prefectures of central Japan.

For the time being, however, we don't feel like having a trip.

So, here are photos from my favorite past summer travels. 

When you feel inclined to learn more, please have a visit to each post.

霧ヶ峰 Ridge of fog, on a clear day (2011)
Kirigamine Highland, Southern Japan Alps in the backdrop

上高地 Kamikochi Walk (2011)
Economy or Environment? (2012)
Northern Japan Alps, Nagano Prefecture
Taisho-ike Pond with Mt. Yake-dake

Geum pentapetalum (l.) Makino., or Aleutian avens, Tatamidaira Flower Field at Mt. Norikura-dake

Mysteriously radiant Atera-blue (2013)
Nagano Prefecture

Atera gorge

Mt. Tate-yama (3015m), 2007
Toyama Prefecture

Most of elementary and middle school students have very short summer holiday,

a couple of weeks depending on their grade and the region.

With travels cancelled, pools closed, no playing with cousins,

adults are thinking out how to this historical strange summer holiday exciting for the kids. 

I see the current situation very serious but would like to be positive.

I'll have a break in blogging till September.

Be safe and in fit, dear Friends, while enjoying your season in possible ways.

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Monday, July 13, 2020


Wide range of Western and Central Japan has been hit by the record torrential rains

since the 4th of July.

Especially in Kyushu, torrential rainfall during July 4-8 ruthlessly caused havoc

on linear precipitation zone, and later Gifu and Nagano prefectures of Central Japan as well.

Green fields, city streets, houses, cars .... all were submerged in muddy water,

which are old distressful familiar scenes during the rainy season but in extreme level.

The victims and the affected are in my prayers and thoughts.

It is forecast that deluge will last till tomorrow.

One morning, it was raining softly after down-pouring of the night.

Standing in my garden, I couldn't help feeling humbled and thankful.

Right after the rain before the sun appears, colors were muted but still vibrant.

Wet leaves were fragrant.

Tiny raindrops were gleaming on the fresh green maple leaves,

 some of which still retain red tints when they were babies. 

The colors within the raindrops shone with clarity.

Peeping into the tree, a couple of red leaves still remained.

 Dripping arch.

Soaking wet hydrangea.

Earthquakes, floods and landslides, typhoons ... and COVID-19

reminded me of the words of Buddha;

"Life is no more than a dewdrop balancing on the edge of a blade of grass." 

Raindrops as substitute for dewdrops

By association, however, I prefer this;

"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf." 
(Butterfly by Rabindranath Tagore)

Prior to the disaster, all my grandchildren got together at my home after a long interval.

We lightly danced on the edges of time to enjoy each moment,

for we were not sure when would be the next gathering.

Despite the resurgence of confirmed COVID-19 cases with higher positive rate,

political decision is to continue to ease restrictions on business including large events and gatherings.

Domestic travel is promoted; "Go to Travel Campaign",  which will subsidize 

up to half of travel expenses, is going to be started next week.

Business as well as individual responsible attitude with necessary preventive measures 

is the most basic of basics, I think, but isn't it irresponsible for the government 

to leave almost all to businesses and individuals by only showing guidelines made by experts, 

though steering would be difficult.

Playing with water balloons, soap bubbles, cards, painting and crafting, and so on.

Linked to Mosaic Monday