Thursday, July 22, 2010

4:30 am

Last week, the rainy season finally broke - not in the gradual way I had expected, but in a startling transformation from humid white haze to hot glorious blue. We're enjoying seeing the sun again, but the intense summer heat (think Washington at its worst hot-humid moments) makes farm work during the afternoon almost unbearable. So the farm volunteers have decided to adopt a new summer schedule: wake up with the sun and enjoy a siesta during the afternoon. The sun rises in Japan at around 4:30 am, and we can enjoy about an hour of cool(ish) dawn weather before we start sweating again.

I started this morning plowing the egoma (a plant similar to sesame) field next to an ARI paddy, and I discovered that the world at 4:30 can be quite a beautiful place - soft pink sunrise over the ripening rice, clear blue sky touching the rocky tops of the nearby mountains. Add a nice onigiri (rice ball) as a pre-breakfast snack, and all feels right with the world...



In a more general update: I've had lots of wonderful summer adventures recently (climbing Mount Fuji, visiting a friend in the mountains of Nagano) that I hope to share with you soon - but as I'll be waking up tomorrow at 4 again, it's now time to head to bed to the sound of cicadas and a distant thunder storm...

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