For more than three months it’s been pouring rain nearly every day throughout Japan. What I had promised myself would be a summer of copious walking along ridges, turned into days in my tent waiting out downpours and a summer washed away with thundering rivers and mountain sides giving way. During my climb of Mt. Kinpu in Chichibu, west of Tokyo, with a precious two-weeks of vacation lined up, I thought perhaps that surely the gods were frowning upon me, seeing that every single weekend since the first green blush of spring brought me up square against a wall of rain. It was as if someone was trying to tell me that there were things left unfinished back home and I had better sort them out before taking the leisure to go traipsing around in the hills.
This is to tell any of you who have continued to drop by that I am still alive and well and do intend to get back to writing in the blog, but right now I just need a break from blog writing for a while. A lot of things have happened that make writing somewhat difficult, with a lot of soul searching and reevaluation of what I am doing with my life, getting priorities straight.
I can’t say why wild places draw me. The call originates somewhere out there where four walls end and the horizon catches the last light of the sun. It is something old and frightening, sets my heart drumming, and comes upon me when I am least guarded. I seek it again and again, as if expecting an answer to a question that was asked before I was born.
With winter approaching the chances to meet flights of wanderers along the streets of Tokyo would seem to die out with the passing of the summer birds. Summer holds the tickets to all the comings and goings that we do. And yet this last weekend I ended up with three days of encounters: my Friday night dinner with former students, the day long celebration of eating and peeking, and then yesterday, most unusual, a chance meeting with two hikers at an outdoor store.