Last week most definitely was arukiyasui. We had another snowfall, though, and this time (Feb. 4), the snow was significantly deeper. Still arukiyasui for me—but I’m not sure how it might have been for you. Here and there, the boots sunk in pretty deep.
But it was a great day to be out on Aozasa.
The snow was beautiful. The sunshine was beautiful. The blue sky, well, the blue sky was that deep, deep blue just-this-side-of-royal-purple-blue-priest-robe blue—beautiful.
And I’d just read, in the last week, two articles from two major U.S. news outlets, two articles that made me question my own sanity.
One was titled something like, “Why going outside is good for you.”
The other, “Why sunshine is good for you.”
All I can say is I’m so, so, so happy that I—it’s me, I’m talking about, not you!—that I don’t really need to read articles trying to convince me that the sunshine and the outdoors are good for me.
In the Aozasa woods, the sun filters through the cedar trunks, turning the snowy floor into a dazzling display of both glowing light and shadow. Sometimes rays of sunlight shoot through the green boughs, sprays of light, as if they’ve been shot out of a garden hose.
And as I walk along, I feel (as always) that I am no different from the trees. I want to stretch my limbs and touch that light. Yeah, when the light is filtered through a forest canopy, I do stretch for it. Up, up, up, I go.
Others, too, I’m pretty sure, think that’s true. When they’re up on the ridge, out in the open sun . . .
. . . they enjoy the basking, but when they’re down there beneath the trees, they stre-e–e-e-etch for that light. That’s the better part of the walk, I often hear them say. Moving toward the light.
I believe my “stretching” exercises up on Aozasa are the most meaningful “stretching” exercises I’ve ever undertaken.
I’ve got lots of books I’m waiting to read. Just don’t have time for the sunshine article.
Nor for the one that suggests it might be a good idea to step outside.
All right, got to go. Need to stand up and see if I can touch my toes.
At the very least, I’m going to glance down and see if they’re still there.