nara prefecture, dec 2014
i have spent so much time in rural japan. it is a strange delight to be an urbanite once again (kyoto), but i am (at heart) a country mouse. having grown up and lived in numerous small towns the charms of nature-pressure do much to alleviate the people-pressure of living close in high-conformity, but not always enough. the idea of being known intimately by ones neighbor seems terrifying. having to shop at the same grocery store every day. having a recognizable face and not enough different routes by which to navigate your environs. what i miss is having my own garden, growing my own vegetables and herbs. feeling the vibrating space of a wide open plain with no human refractions in sight. being alone with nature for silent contemplation. the trickle of a stream. reminded by an email from our canadian realtor, a year ago we were in a tiny a-frame cabin in the woods, stoking our wood stove for heat and cooking, and watching from the second story window an awe inspiring sight- a rare sighting of a stealthy (and large) lynx stalking our rabbit friends in the yard, before crossing the river and disappearing into our woodlot, the woods we roamed daily. no fences in sight. mingling with nature in the lawless wild.
i am enjoying being an urbanite with convenient subways, escalator etiquette, grocery shopping and the company of a million passing strangers, but it may not be long before once again we feel the stirrings of the country, and desire to stretch out a give a little private sigh of relief to the land.