Monday, September 13, 2021

Memories of summer, 2021

A windowpane covered with raindrops and green foliage outside

It's been a weird summer - life with COVID-19, extraordinary Olympics and Paralympics played in empty stadiums and arenas, and extreme weather difference. The Olympics must have been the hottest ever, but with its ending, there came unusual much cooler days with too much rain for the consecutive two weeks, and then with the start of the Paralympics, heat wave came back with vengeance.  During the Olympics, I felt like that I was choking in sauna. After that I wanted to send our rain to the areas suffering extreme heat and wild fires. The 1964 Tokyo Olympics was held in the cool, crisp air of October before the Games was overly commercialized. If the IOC values “diversity”, the various different climate of the host countries should be considered about the holding period of the events. 

Two weeks of rainy days in high summer is the first thing I experienced in my life. While fearful of the violent rains, I liked the coolness, nonetheless, and enjoyed capturing the lovely scenes created by rain.

The Lotuses and a Heron were taken at the ancient Fujiwara Palace Ruins near Asuka Village.  The aqua plants looked dreamy and harmonious in each process of life under the leaden skies.

On our way back

The Paralympics ended about a week ago. The performances of the Olympians were so moving and inspiring, and still more the Paralympians’. How many times was I moved to tears?  I’m happy for the athletes that they could play to their full potentials  protected in the parallel world of the bubble.  I'm also grateful to the volunteers who practiced "hospitality" tirelessly on behalf of the citizens. Outside the bubble, COVID-19 case number recorded highest every passing day. 

I like myself best when I'm with my grandchildren.  Especially so, when I can't escape from  sadness and grimness of daily news worldwide. They returned to school late August.  Now that the declining trend of infection continues, school lunch started today.  A little over 50 percent of the 120,000,000 population finished full vaccination in my country.  Acquiring herd immunity is said to be difficult regarding RNA viruses like corona. Can we catch our breath, or as is often the case, will the loosened tension for more freedom trigger another big wave? 

Linked to Mosaic Monday


  1. A weird Summer indeed...worldwide...
    Here, in Portugal, we can't complain...Rain is finally here after 3 month, it was not to hot and we are 80 per cent fully vaccinated.
    Your pictures are lovely and your mosaic beautiful with the joy of your grandchildren !
    Have a nice week !

  2. Such beautiful moments captured. The raindrops are like a soothing balm, if not too many. This is not an easy task to be a leader during a pandemic and I watched as Japan grappled with the challenge to hold the Olympics. It was a huge success from my view across the ocean, allowing athletes to compete and finally put to the test all they had practiced for so long. I applaud Japan. The Paralympics were also wonderful. The volunteers incredible! All this done in the face of many arrows and stings to decisions made. Some want to tear down while others rise up and help others in this weird world.

  3. We have a lot of new cases here in Florida so we are having to be careful. I only do what is necessary and shop some online. And yes, I miss spending time with family. I hope you stay well and have a good week sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

  4. Yoko - so glad to have you and your photographic talents return to Mosaic Monday. While the amount of precipitation may have been damaging for you, it is a blessing for your photography. I especially like the morning glory blossom in the puddle. The world over had been experiencing extreme weather - I hope we wake up soon and solve our climate problems!!! Maybe we can learn a lesson from the harmony of the earth. I hope your grandchildren will be safe at school!

  5. Japan did a wonderful job in hosting the Olympics and Paralympics at such a difficult time. It's such a pity that people could not attend the various events and participate in the kind of excitement and joy that we experienced at London 2012.
    You would love it here today - it's been raining since I got up this morning! You may even have inspired me to go out for a walk and take some photos.

  6. "I like myself best when I'm with my grandchildren."

    I ❤️ This!

  7. Hello,
    Your photos are beautiful, love the gorgeous lotus flowers, pods and the heron. I am glad to see the Olympic games and the Paralympics went well, even though the weather was so hot. Your grandchildren images are adorable, spending time with family helps relieve the stress of this past year. Take care, enjoy your day! Have a happy week ahead.

  8. Hi Yoko,
    The weather is really unstable, in the summer we had days of immense heat and now there are thunderstorms and heavy rain that floods everything around you.
    Beautiful selection of photos, I especially loved the 3rd photo with the orange flower in the water and the lotus flower photos.
    Beautiful mosaic with your grandchildren, how much joy they have and give, unfortunately my grandchildren live in Macau and I live in Portugal.
    Fortunately in my country we have already managed to fully vaccinate 80% of the population.
    Take care and all the best

  9. Most artistic pictures, ode to rain! I’m glad to hear from you, Yoko, welcome back to blogging. The summer is not ordinary, true, but comparing to the previous one, it was much better. In our country we have the same merciless statistics, restrictions and masks, but we’re not locked down at least. We spent a couple of weeks at the seaside without unpleasant consequences, fortunately. The Olympic Games though looked weird: empty stadiums, no-contact ceremonies where athletes put on their medals and took the flowers themselves … The Games were perfectly organized, we kept remembering our trip to Japan while watching, and how impeccably everything worked.
    I love pictures with grandchildren and your phrase "I like myself best when I'm with my grandchildren" because I feel the same withour little Y. Have a restful September, dear Yoko, with comfortable weather.
    Doctor B sends best wishes to you.

  10. Yoko, I enjoyed the Olympics from Japan on the television. Watched most of our Canadian athletes. We did have a heat wave which I have not experienced before. It was not pleasant living in a cement box with temperatures inside at 90F. Thanks for sharing your photos and have a great week! Sylvia D.

  11. Todo sigue siendo extraño amiga. Aunque parece que poco a poco va pasando despues de año imedio. Al menos mi hijo mayor que trabaja en Béjar, vive en Salamanca,vuelve a comer en casa con nosotros. Esperemos poder volver a lo que tanto se añora.
    Me gustaron las fotos que dejó la lluvia. Disfruta mucho de tus nietos.
    Buen jueves Yoko.
    Un abrazo.

  12. Japan deserves congratulations on its successful handling and hosting of the Olympics and the Paralympics. Even though the stadiums were almost empty the athletes themselves created some unique and exciting performances.
    I love your images of the Lotus flowers and their unique sculptural seed heads.
    I have only just returned home having been away. We luckily did manage to excape the daily bulletins of depressing world news and now feel more refreshed.

  13. Daer Yoko!
    I admired the Olympics on TV.
    This year has been a very strange summer. June is rainy, July is hot and August and September are rainy again.
    I admire your wonderful photos. Hope your grandchildren are safe in school.
    I send hugs and greetings.

    Hello. Yoko san.
    Weird weather has passed this summer season.

    The fun time with the grandchildren seems to be comfortable.
    Going out is inconvenient, but indoor fun is likely to increase.
    That may not be bad.

    The providence of nature may be cleverly constructed, including human activities.
    However, humans will never be able to adjust them.
    It seems that unreasonable adjustment attempts and self-interest are leading to the destruction of the earth.

    I hope you get well.

  15. Many watched the Olympics on TV...

    I did enjoy seeing all of your lovely photographs here, such a nice collection.
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

  16. Dear Yoko, I love seeing the beautiful lotus flowers and the seed pods. The pods are so sculptural. I'm glad you could spend time with your Grands over the summer. I like seeing all the happy faces. We also had a lot of rain in July, but then the moisture stopped and we became too dry again. Though it's been raining for the past couple days, a wildfire started only a few miles from us and still hasn't been contained. Our house is in no danger, but a friend has been evacuated. Stay well my friend.

  17. No doubt there is strangeness in the midst of the pandemic. The Paralympic Games, on the other hand, show that the human being is capable of drawing strength from weakness in the face of challenges and overcoming certain limits. The day to day with its small details, which you capture well with your camera, teaches us to temper the nerves and to remain calm in the midst of difficulties. Children, you know, can be little lights in the midst of confusion.


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