In Plain View

1 Comment » Written on January 1st, 2011     
Filed under: missions
There is a tiny village in northern Nagano, near Lake Nojiri called Okubo. It consists of perhaps 20 homes, fields of rich, dark black earth that yield rice, vegetables and some of the sweetest corn on the cob you’ll ever find, and a small marsh that is home to king fishers, gray herons and various other birds. But undoubtedly the most attractive thing about Okubo is the view. There is a footpath that runs between the fields, starting at the hut where they sell fresh corn on the cob in the summer, and ending at the marsh. On a clear, sunny day, whether in spring when the fields are still the color of rich earth, summer when they are green, autumn when they are golden, or winter when they are blanketed with a shimmering glaze of pure white snow,  the views from that path are simply astounding.

Look to the right and you see Mt. Myoko.

Then look to the left and you’ll see Mt. Kurohime.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to work in fields with that sort of view every day. And yet, I am friends with a number of folks who actually do live and work in Okubo. And the amazing thing is that they don’t really seem to appreciate the incredible beauty of their location very much. And to be honest, living that close to mountains makes some things more difficult. This is heavy snow country; by February there is usually at least 4-6 feet of it on the ground and the battle with the snow consumes a great deal of time and energy.

But this morning as I walked through Okubo enjoying the fabulous scenery and taking these photos I found one inhabitant who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying life.

And yet this creature doesn’t even know that you can see the mountains from Okubo!

It’s the first day of a new year; a good time to think about “bigger picture” stuff. So I guess one of my hopes and prayers for 2011 is that I will have the wherewithal to see and appreciate all that is good and beautiful in my life, my work, my relationships, my family and my surroundings. In a sense I want to be like the cat; able to find those sunny window sills and not afraid to stop and soak up the warmth for a spell. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to share a bit of that warmth and beauty with the folks around me!

Happy New Years!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

One Response to “In Plain View”

Happy new year to you and all your family Jim. Thanks for sharing the photos of one of the most beautiful places I know of. May 2011 be rich in blessings for you.

Report This Comment

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog