In my twenties, I traveled to Japan. I flew there from the Navy base in Kodiak, Alaska, while my Coast Guard husband would be gone a month in the Bering Sea on their trusty ice-breaker, the Storis. I found the food, the customs, the scenery all so worth the trip. In addition, by miracle and by chance, I overlapped in Tokyo with Kesaya, a close family friend from New Hampshire who had recently decided to stay with Japanese relatives for the year. So, for the first few nights I stayed in a youth hostel, where I learned on the first day how to eat a fried egg with chop-sticks by watching how all the other youth hostelers did it. Then I moved to where Kesaya was living, with her aunt and uncle, and I learned a great deal more. I even had the priviledge of being part of a tea ceremony, since Kesaya's aunt gave lessons in their home. This was in the late sixties, so Japan was not then as affluent and urban as it has become.
Eventually I headed out for some travel on my own, which is why I'm now sharing this story. Along with Buddhist temples, intimate gardens, and trains with magnificant views, I visited Hiroshima, where we Americans dropped that atomic bomb 72 years ago today. I visited what was then the very rudimentary museum, in one of the few buildings left standing, and I stayed with Quakers at the small world peace center there. It came to me that all my life I had wanted to go there, to pay homage to all the people who died and who have suffered every day since that terrible event. Being there was like having a door open to my feelings and the hurt I had been carrying for the world.
I for one can not for the life of me and of those I love been able to accept that nuclear weapons should be allowed on this earth. I know President Truman justified the timing of the bomb to speed the end of our war with Japan, but it can't be allowed to happen ever again. Did we learn nothing from that devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the civilian population? How can we ever justify again the use of even a single nuclear weapon!
Dropping a nuclear bomb -- a small one by today's standards -- was a very bad, terrible idea back then. It's an even worse idea now. Remembering this day every year doesn't seem like that much to do under the circumstances. I pray for leaders capable of caring about the peace in all places. Thank you, President Obama, for going to Hiroshima in 2015 to acknowledge the reality of our history with this place.
Here is a link to some photos of Hiroshima soon after the bomb and the same locations today.
Meanwhile, back in rural eastern Kentucky, last week, what few fields we have finally got bush hogged. Usually a neighbor mows those several acres yearly for the hay, but it turned out he was unable to do that this year. Instead Wayne, a kind soul and mowing ace, came with his tractor to beat back the high weeds that were taking over. I want to share a few photos I couldn't help making while he was working. I loved seeing the land re-emerge from its overgrowth while I stood where I could watch it happen. Because he warned me it's not a good idea to get too close to a mowing tractor, in case some rock or branch would fly out and do me in, I had to keep me and my camera at a safe distance. So here's some of what I saw:
FIRST FIELD, where usually we would get hay:
|half shorn section|
FROM MY SEAT ON THE PORCH:
|Where's that noisy wren!?|
|reminders of the recent Cousin Camp|
|WAYNE AT WORK -- thank you!!|
MOWING FINISHED, leaving, and luckily no one was driving down the driveway:
The fields are already growing back, but we can now see the lay of the land. If the fields aren't mowed, they soon turn into forests. The openness also increases fire safety for the house the fields surround. Another day in the life of, as we say....
I will soon have done these posts for 7 years, once a week. I sometimes amaze even myself!!! Next week I plan to post the current state of my gallery, inside and out.