Sisyphean raking

A storm is coming in and there’s too much wind to safely burn the margins of the rice terraces, so today at Oyama Senmaida we raked grass into piles to be torched later.

But there was a lot of wind, so the piles blew down the embankments. I felt like Sisyphus rolling his rock up the hill only for it to slide back down.

Despite that, it was fun. Good exercise. Conversations in the breaks. Fresh air. Space for the mind to wander.

I am not sure why, but today I had the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” running through my head on repeat as I worked. It’s hard to stop myself from singing aloud, but I managed to hold it in. Maybe next time, there will be songs in the tanbo.

These two were funny this morning. Kawasaki Takashi-san dropped Iku-chan off in a distant section of the fields and then left her by herself. She did not appreciate that and tromped her way across to our group of three to complain bitterly about her mistreatment. When he returned a while later (he had to run back home to take care of something, I think), she lit into him in a way that can only be done by friends of 80 years.

I helped to groom two sets of fields; the second one has a massive landslide though it. There are preparations underway for repair but a small spring actively bisects it, so it will never be fully fixed. But for now – this year and a few to come – it will be okay after the yumbo rebuilds it.

On my short walk over to Oyama Senmaida this morning, I took photos of some of the pretty blossoms. It’s going to rain most of this week, so they may not look this good again.

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Mediatinker, Kristen McQuillin, is an American-born resident of Japan since 1998. This blog chronicles her life, projects, thoughts, and small adventures.