Even in Kyoto--hearing the cuckoo's cry--I long for Kyoto. --Basho
I'm sure you've hear this verse from me before, but it's been my favorite poem for years and a sort of anthem particularly after I discovered that I'm a "4" on the Enneagram , the archetype of longing and melancholy. Now that I've been to Kyoto twice in the past few months, the city begins to beckon. I long to live here for a year and breathe its charms in all seasons.
And winter, by the way, is a lovely time to visit Kyoto if you get lucky with the weather. Seeing it at its absolute peak in autumn was astounding and made the crowds worth it. Seeing it without any crowds was also a huge treat.
Fortunately, we've discovered many ways to remind ourselves to stop and reflect and even remember. Isaiah's teacher gave him a journal as a way to bridge the gap between school and the 4 days he missed...he took his assignment seriously, kept his tools at his side, and was often breaking for journal and photo stops.
Of course, sister is in on the act, camera and pencil roll in hand.
Gardening, Japanese style. I was surprised that landscapers spent 2 full days in autumn on our tiny front planter and back patio, but once I saw the gardeners at work on the sacred temple grounds, I understood. Sort of. As well as a very casual non-gardener might. Here, the gardener is removing one type of moss so that another type of moss can grow more fully. The older couple who translated for us were very concerned about what we Americans thought about their "non-natural" way of gardening. We assured them that the care that goes into each plant, stone, and tree feels like love.
Our ninja, crossing the inner moat of the Nijo Castle.
As we imagined keeping watch over an inner moat and an outer moat, pondered scaling rock walls, and being bodyguards hiding in secret doors to keep intruders at bay, we were transported centuries back in time. Definitely a highlight.
A shogun castle makes even little boys who are sight-seeing weary very happy.
The Golden Temple was striking, but it seems that the teens on school trips found Grandpa, Grandma and the children just as interesting...
If you're still with me, I apologize for such a long post, but since you've stayed for all this time, I'll give you a treat, fresh from the Nishiki Food Market. Lollipops, anyone?
Japan is a food lovers' dream. Kyoto is the heart of that dream. The Nishiki Market is the paradise at the center of that heart. And our boy, same as he ever was, revels in the paradise in the heart of the dream :) Food on a stick...yummmmm.
And now the children and grandparents can soak in a couple of quiet days together, while my honey and I go off for a bit more adventuring. I know, believe me, how lucky I am in every way. I'll just go and try to let it soak in :)