Monthly Archives: June 2016

Twenty-six minutes


Under a baby blue sky . . .


. . . a baby blue sky above EVERYTHING, as far as I could tell—the university, the roads, the mountains, the rice fields, my garden, all the stores, the lotus pond—I left my office and headed home.

160620_nejibana_b_600But I took a minute, ONE minute, to check out the nejibana (Pearl’s Twist).

Maybe the baby blue sky influenced me a little. Maybe I would have stopped anyway.

Then, after a stop at the grocery store,  I walked down a sidewalk to see how . . .


. . . these guys felt about the blue sky.

FIVE minutes.

Then there was the drive through the rice fields.


A leisurely THREE minute stop.


And then a stop at the lotus pond.

There’s so much that amazes at the lotus pond.


Not the least of which is how the lotus flowers,  in various stages of blooming and withering, at various times of the day, with the sun out, with the sun behind the clouds, stay ablaze.


And then there was the fine crystal to be searched out.


ELEVEN minutes.

And then at home, how can you not take a walk through the garden? Things are growing back there.


And folks are out there doing their things—including stopping for their own rests. Acorn squash seems a nice sunny place to catch your breath.160623_mantis_600

He’s resting? Working? Some time it’s hard to distinguish between the two.

Regardless, SIX minutes. For me.

In all, TWENTY-SIX minutes. If it seems like a waste to you, just imagine that I was stuck in traffic.

Car traffic, that is.  160623_lotus_flower_3_600

Stays ablaze


June 15, 2016.

Bicycle commuting.


The lotus flower’s veined pink skin

Is lit up bright from within.


You have to stop and feel amazed–

It doesn’t burn but stays ablaze.


Eyes are ears and ears are eyes,

Helping us to empathize,

Paradise is what you feel

And what you feel is all that’s real.


Mountain Hydrangeas


June 4th.

We Hearty Hikers went to Ryuso Mountain because we wanted the exercise, we didn’t have enough time to get up to Umegashima, and well, because we missed Ryuso a bit.


We didn’t really go to check out the mountain hydrangea. But that’s what ended up enchanting us—me, anyway.


From what I see on the Web, all sorts of folks, at least those here in Shizuoka and around my home state of Georgia, are enjoying the hydrangeas. Rightfully so. They’re lovely. I’m enjoying them, too. Like these, below, which I spotted near the river at the back end of Senna, heading up toward Ryuso.


But I prefer the mountain hydrangea. The blossoms are not as big and global and they don’t grow as profusely as they do on the bushes dotting gardens all over town—but that’s sort of what I like.


Komorebi. This is a Japanese word that I like a lot. It means, more or less, sunlight filtering down through tree leaves. I’ve never met a hiker who didn’t love komorebi. At times, there’s nothing better for a hiker than to get out of the full shineshine and into komorebi.


And the world of komorebi is the world in which the mountain hydrangeas  live. Their limbs bend and twist and reach for the sunshine, but in the end, they just don’t get as much sunshine as their relatives down in town. Maybe they wish they could get more. Maybe they don’t.


Regardless, you can feel the effort they make. And you feel the pride they feel in what they’ve made of the limited sunshine available to them. You can see that beauty is not always bigger and brighter. And you see how beauty appreciates whatever light does shine upon it.

160604_cedar_600The cedars are always there, up on Ryuso. Go ahead, try to knock this guy over.


The peachy-red azalaes know all that the hydrangea do.


These yellow guys (kakinohagusa), too, were doing pretty good in mostly shady spots.

160604_fuji2_600The leaves were all out—so our buddy Fuji-kun was only visible from one or two spots. Float on by, Fuji-kun!


As we started down, we ran into this fellow. At first, he seemed a little shy, and kept a couple of strides ahead of us.

160604_kamoshika_2_600But finally he turned back to us. Seemed willing to introduce himself.

160604_kamoshika_face_450“We good?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I replied.

160604_mountain_ajisai_10_600Most of the hydrangea we saw in bloom were on the lower half of the mountain. Further up, they should be blooming over the next couple of weeks.

If you have the time . . .         160604_mountain_ajisai_3_600