Sunday, June 14, 2009

ear to ear

It was a really great weekend, and I feel like tossing my hat in the air like Mary Tyler Moore! Would be even better if I could be back in big-time Minneapolis for a week or weekend, but the past couple of days have been terrific.

A group called me out to lead "American aerobics/kick-boxing" on Friday, and it went really well. There was a scary moment when the cd I brought wasn't playing past the 3rd track, but luckily I'd also brought backup tunes. Everyone seemed to work up a good sweat (I was dripping, anyway), and enjoy the workout.

Saturday I went, somewhat reluctantly, with some aunties on a drive to a city north of here. We stopped at a hand-made tapestry and crafts shop that is housed in an old temple, and after looking around with them for a while, I stopped to play with a gorgeous black cat. After quite a while, the cat decided to get up and go somewhere else, and it was only then that I noticed it had only 3 legs!!- and a sort of stumpy 4th beginning-of-a-leg. Poor thing, it went hobbling into the kitchen area. My heart just went out to that cat, for some reason.

After that shop, we went into the mountains for a "firefly festival," which simply means that everyone is using the current season (when the fireflies come out in droves by rivers and other wet places) as an excuse for a good time. There was another temple in the mountains, and a couple of guys were dancing kagura to traditional pipe and drum music played by several other men. We stopped by to listen for a song or two, then headed down to the local elementary school, where there was a big enough parking space for everyone's vehicles, and a stream. We got out of the car and walked a few paces, and...... WOW!!! There were probably more than a hundred fireflies floating and glowing here and there all along a stretch of the water. It was amazing. I caught a few that came flying nearby, and it was really lovely to see the insect glowing in my hand and crawling around, just like the ones I used to catch in Chi-town.

Today, Sunday, was Corpus Christi, and so we got to sing some good old Gregorian Chant in church. Holy Communion was also distributed under both kinds.

Later, I went to the hair salon and once again received fabulous service. Those people are amazing! They convinced me to try some kind of treatment with sea mud and herbs in it; sounds iffy, but it has a pretty scent and worked very well. While I was waiting, I read through a book of motivational poetry that reminded me of an English teacher I had in high school (although this poetry was in Japanese). One poem read something like this:

楽しんだから
笑顔できるのではなく
笑顔でいるから
いつでも楽しめるのだ

(It's not because you have had a good time
that you can put a smile on your face;
it's because you have a smile on your face
that good times are always to be had.)


I have got the biggest smile on inside and out right now. :D Have a good one, everybody!

3 comments:

Sue said...

I am so glad that you had a good weekend, and are feeling better.
You know, getting to see lightning bugs (as we call them down south) in Japan is pretty special. I've never seen one in nature anywhere the entire time I've lived here. I remember the very first time I came to Japan we saw a street corner display in Ginza. It was a darkened "room" with lightning bugs in it that everyone could walk through and exclaim over the beautiful lights. I thought it was kind of strange at the time, since I grew up catching jars full of them, but it makes sense now that I haven't seen one myself in quite awhile!

Praying that you keep smiling -- on the inside and out!

William said...

We had a barbecue tonight- no fireflies here yet. But we made s'mores.

Mom said...

Glad to here you went with the "aunties" after all! Sometimes it's good to take a chance on having a good time. Hope you find out that you can come home for a visit, too...