Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Of Sea and Sky

After satan left Hiroshima, my friend Dr. Martin and the indefatigable Miss G arrived, to experience the joys of hiking up a mountain or two. This wasn't entirely expected, but the DMs (as I shall call them) have been holidaying in Tokyo, where trees are a little rare and mountains rarer, so it seemed natural to take them for a hike through both.

We went to Miyajima, that holy island South of Hiroshima which is famous for its deer and its shrines, and took a cable car to the top of a mountain famous for its red-arsed monkies (who were hidden in the forest when we arrived). The picture here is a view of the Seto Inland Sea from the top of the mountain, including distant oyster beds and the rocky promontories of various islands. From there we took an unexpectedly long path up and down several ridgelines, before returning to the shoreline. Like all Japan at this time of the year Miyajima is beautiful, suffused with a golden autumn glow, warm enough for comfort but not so hot that walking is unpleasant, and thronged with happy people making the most of the fine weather. The last of the Autumn insects are still droning around, including a few singing insects and a variety of neon-brilliant scarab beetles. Many of the trees are showing their first hint of autumn gold and red, but in the long, lazy days they have not yet bothered shucking their summer finery. All is suffused with a langourous, late-summer bonhomie as the locals prepare for the inevitable passing of the seasons and the imminent arrival of big, bad Winter. The omnipresent forest is pregnant with that strange feeling of the end of things, and we all must make the most of this last, breathless pause before the rains come.

The DMs are my last visitors before our Winter wedding, and so now I am looking forward to that fearsome time in late December when the snow begins to fall and I have to bury myself under my kotatsu until Spring ... even now the nights grow cold and still, and I know that soon the pain will begin ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make it sound like a leisurely Sunday stroll through the park, studiously ignoring the hours of agony endured during the decent of thousands of metres from the top of mountain.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Sir S said...

well, I was trying to write a Romantic-style eulogy to nature (red-arse monkey comments aside), and avoiding the more Norman Mailer-esque Hamburger hill feelings of those who suffered the exhausting trek. Artistic license and all that...

5:49 PM  

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