Sunday, May 05, 2013

One Year in the Life of a Tokushima Field: April

“Look! April photos!” I exclaim.
To which the world replies, “No Heather, this is May.”
“But - ” I whine, “I have so many photos from April to post.”

In all truth, I didn’t take the camera out much in April, although I did take it to Tokyo early in the month, which warrants its own post or seven. I also am trying to keep up my end of the bargain with the field project, which is proving to be a rather boring endeavour.

As I watch the field change (or not change), it occurs to me it is interesting in fits and starts.

On my way to work one fine day, the farmer was out in the field taking down the carrot coverings. It was fun to watch the progress. And I wondered, what if I turned around, went home, got the camera and came back .... What if? If I did that I would be late for work.

Let’s weigh this: Late for work ... interesting pictures ... hmmm ... my photos aren’t good enough to justify that.

Instead, I figured I would just bring the camera as soon as possible. he next day was not a good day to haul my camera around. By the time the day came when all the planets were aligned, I remembered the camera, the weather co-operated, I left in time to take pictures, and arrived at the field .... it was empty. Completely empty. Sigh.

Here is the field. Ta da! Once more smoothed and straight, ready for the next planting. If it is the same as last year, rice should be going in any day. Well, first water. I noticed that water goes into the field and sits for awhile before the rice is planted.

For the time being, we are left with this empty field. Waiting. And it is a delightful surprise to realise I can learn from this boring photo. At a time when I expected busyness, to only find stillness, capturing unseen preparations.

When I began thinking about the empty field, I expected my “lesson to be learned” would revolve around thinking ahead: always carrying my camera, making sure my lamp oil never runs dry, et cetera, et cetera. I expected to say I have learned to be hyper-vigilant, never relaxing, because opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.

However, maybe that isn’t the message here. With my blog, I most certainly am lazy. I most certainly should work a little harder to post entries. Yet the empty field reminds me of the necessary preparation needed to produce a healthy crop.

In the end, the message of this photo isn’t what I expected. April photos in May? Sigh. I am behind again. But I, with others, know that restful preparation balanced with work is the ideal.

I look at the empty field and remember that I need balance. What do you see in an empty field?

Earlier posts about this field:

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