Thursday, April 26, 2012

Early morning walk

As spring rolls in I find myself waking up with the sun. (That's about 5:00 am around here.) If I stretch or move too much in bed then the cats come running and expect me to get up. If the cats start running then Choco knows that humans are thinking about getting up and adds to the cacophony with barks and yelps. And if Choco starts up a clatter then there is no hope of going back to sleep and I trudge downstairs yawning. Tetsu hides under the blankets and if I get to Choco fast enough he'll return to slumberland...leaving me to feed everybody and take Choco for a walk. At 5:00 am!

However the benefits of waking up early include the beautiful scenery and seeing the sun dance upon the fields. Choco and I went walking in a different direction this week... of course with the camera.

I love the way the clouds seem to be born in the hills and then drift off into the sky. In the distance, tucked between the fields, is a private cemetery. I think the farmers have made a cooperative cemetery here.

Years ago an old farmer came to my door one night and asked if I could translate some material for him. His daughter who had been living in New York for 15 years, had passed away after a long illness and someone had sent her ashes back to him. But in order to inter the ashes in the family grave the city required a death certificate... in Japanese. Together we spent a couple of nights translating the English documents. That was a hard job. My Japanese can sound so straight and brutal sometimes... even to my ears. A few days later I observed the family holding their funeral out here in the middle of these fields.

Tractor designs.

This LOOKS like a lovely small hill reflected in a rice field. It is actually the back side of a fertilizer plant. See how the fertilizer is composting? The small tractors are continually climbing the hill and turning the compost, distributing it here and there, building other small hills, mixing, churning and then carrying it away to places unknown. The mist rising from it looks innocuous but actually has a high smell. To my nose, not unpleasant. Farmy. But when the trucks filled with fertilizer go by the crosswalk in the mornings all the children walking to school hold their noses and make faces. I feel sorry for the truck drivers going past lines of children who act like they are being poisoned. I bet the fertilizer plant was here before any of the residential areas bringing children were built!

Want to get up at 5:00 with me again?

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