Pepe, our seven-year-old Red-Eared Slider, has been living with us since we first moved back to Tokyo. I found him (and his former sister Isabella, who died several months later) in a dirty tray at the side of a local … Continued
For the first time in months the air was warm enough to go out in just a T-shirt. If I lifted my nose I could smell the perfume of flowers in the wind. Gray starlings, rufous turtle doves, and brown-eared … Continued
This will not make world headlines and most likely will not trigger most people around the world into a mass hysteria, but when I read the news in the Independant yesterday about the massive drop in sea bird populations in the North Sea, I couldn’t help but feel a great chill sweep through me akin to the shock I felt when first hearing the news of the New York tragedy.
Spring is ratcheting by (yes, I know it’s not a real word, but it sounded so descriptive of the occasional glimpses I make out of the window… if I was a camcorder the whole world outside would pass like time lapse film) outside my window, not too different from Rod Taylor’s 1960’s visions of his world fast forwarding and fast rewinding.
Whenever the Barn Swallows swoop past my head for the first time in the year I know that Spring has returned for sure. On my way along the river to the sports club yesterday the liquid chortling and twittering of this first harbinger of Spring spun out of the grey, rainy air like cotton candy, a taste of what was to come.
One thing I’ve been missing is that sense of raw expectation that infuses wild places, that prescience exuding from the interaction between unseen, but watchful presences, where even the wind takes on the personality of a living entity. In the city this only rarely manifests itself and it is a rare gift when it happens.
The magnolia outside my window is bursting forth with clouds of white blossums. This is the fourth time to witness the joy of its vitality, though, in typical Japanese gardening mentality, the gardeners have chopped it down to but a fraction of its former glory. It is a pruning philosophy that I can’t understand; most of the time trees in Japanese gardens are so manicured of their natural form and grace that half the year the trees stand around like dejected sticks.