I often get off one train stop early and walk about 5-6 km to work in the mornings.Its a way for me to slow down myself and touch base with the natural elements that are always around me, yet often forgotten.
For this is modern day, high speed Japan, where every little convenience is though of, and people try to insulate themselves from their surroundings as much as possible. Its an accepted norm; hunched over a portable game on the train, headphones never removed from ears, a movie or tv show watched studiously, ears held shut to catch a few extra moments of sleep before the high speed day whisks them away.
As I walk across the Tamagawa bridge, gray clouds above whip up a strong wind which sweeps over the water and around me. The people I pass are in various stages of resistance, facially tensed, or bracing their bodies against the invasion that nature has once again successfully launched against them. I smile to myself, because if is for that very reason that I choose to walk and brave what may be rain, what could be wind, what could be a steadily increasing biting cold as winter rapidly approaches.
As a young man, I often struggled with emotions. Waves of them, that often inundated me to the extent that their lingering effect could last for weeks and months.When that happened, I would walk myself out into the streets, but more often than not to the beach to let the sounds and smells of the sea comfort me, and let me lose myself in its infinite depths and receptive nature.
When I lived in the mountains of Colorado, a bike ride or a short car trip or motorcycle ride would take me out into nature where I could be alone in the woods or near some mountain stream, only to be overwhelmed by the presence of nature. Thougts, emotions could then be recognized, and then shed/let go.
In Tokyo Japan, I have to hunt for nature. It wont come and find me, I have to make efforts to place myself in its path, or I could go a life of plastics and concretes, which would be such a shame.
Place yourself in nature’s path sometime soon.