Picture by Emily Halford (unfortunately I was not able to get any good shots)
So I am very lucky to still be alive and to have only shattered bones in my left ankle and foot after slipping off a rock and down a waterfall. It all happened so quickly yet so slowly. My brain took in information in slow motion. I slipped off a wet, black rock covered in vibrant green moss. I was trying to join Peter who was already sitting on the rock. But I walked on the slippery side of this gigantic rock and slipped. I processed that I was falling but felt no fear. I knew I was about to get severely hurt, or worse, but I actually felt quite free—almost as if I was flying.
Then I took everything in and hoped there would be a pool of water waiting for me. But there wasn’t—just a bed of rocks.
My foot landed perfectly into a nook surrounded by rocks—kind of like a cushion around my ankle—but a hard one. But the way I fell seemed so graceful. My foot got caught which stopped me from slipping again and I just sat down.
I could not comprehend what happened. I could hear the sound of the waterfall and feel it pouring on me. It was quite invigorating. Before I took in what happened, I think I was actually enjoying myself. The water was so pure and just the right cold. And everything around me just looked perfect.
And then I saw Elise, frozen and frightened, and I just stared (actually a part of me found her expression quite witty). She ran to me and grabbed my shoulders and that is when it hit me. I screamed. I looked at my foot and yelled call an ambulance.
I quickly got into “resolve the situation” mode. I knew things could only get better with my cooperation and with smart and quick actions.
At the same time I did not want to move. Everything was so beautiful. I have never been so close to a waterfall and I wanted to enjoy it further. I can’t fully grasp nor explain how I felt. It was so heavenly and maybe even felt unreal. It was too perfect—like I was on a movie set.
There was a shrine a little further up from where I fell. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am a spiritual person but someone or something was definitely watching over me.
The Japanese seemed to me to be a very supportive society. A tree along a winding path, Imperial Palace Park, Kyoto.
I saw a wisteria pod so naturally I had to get it. One has rotted. One is now growing. The last has yet to do anything. They have been wrapped in moist paper towel with a grow light over top and a heat pad underneath.
I promised that if two germinated, one goes to Ashley.
I intend to make bonsai out of them.
Correction, they are Wisteria floribunda
Learning about a method of farming called Natural Agriculture at a tea plantation in Shigaraki (Koka City), Japan. Tanisha, Carla, and Melanie (l to r, front) and students of the Miho Institute of Aesthetics (rear).
On the ferry going to Naoshima Island…
These photos were taken on the beach the yurts face at the Tsutsuji-so Lodge on Naoshima Island. It’s hard to describe what exactly the beach was like because photos don’t do its beauty enough justice. With the peaceful atmosphere, fresh air, sea sounds, and sunlight, it was easy to feel calm and relaxed and know that nothing could go wrong here.
We stayed in yurts at Naoshima Island. From the outside, I thought that it would be hard for the average adult to go through the doors. I also thought that the space inside the yurts would be cramped. Much to my surprise, each yurt has four beds in it, and it felt bigger than a double in Bursley Hall. I found it interesting that the window covers used zippers to open and close because everything about that arrangement seemed so readjustable. Sleeping in the yurt and listening to the waves before bed was probably the best sleeping experience I’ve ever had so far.
There were also trailers, which before this trip, I had only seen in movies. Again, it was the door of the trailer that made the trailer seem small, but judging on my experience with the yurts, I’m sure the trailer is just as spacious.
I was sitting outside of the Chichu Art Museum at the edge of a cliff that overlooked the shoreline. My life at that time was so blissful. I was able to fully clear my mind and was able to take in and fully enjoy the beauty. I sat out there for quite some time just thinking about nothing. Such a thing is quite often hard for me to achieve.