I haven’t taught yoga, heck, I haven’t DONE yoga in years, but the folks at Kurkku saw the yoga page in Living on the Earth and decided I should teach a yoga class first thing Saturday morning at Doshi. To my astonishment, I actually did. Even if my limberness wasn’t what it once was, my body remembered the positions. It felt great to stretch, and I wondered what had taken me so long to try it again. And, happily, the person who was going to photograph me, didn’t. After our warmups, we all went out for a walk in the forest.
Morio and some of the other Kurkku staff taught us about the vegetation, animals and environmental degradation of the forest. The forest at Doshi is a regrowth planted by lumber companies after having cut almost every tree of the original forest.
According to Masanobu Fukuoka, air pollution and pesticides are killing off the matsutake mushrooms that once protected the abundant red pine trees in Japan’s forests from rot, weevils and nematodes. He says that not one single red pine still stands in Tokyo prefecture. I read this in his essay “Pine Blight: A Case of Nature Under Attack” in his book The Road Back to Nature.
After our walk, I played a long set of Hawaiian style slack key guitar on my Traveler Guitar while everyone else prepared and ate breakfast.
One group made whole wheat chapatis…
…to cook on the grill, and eat with fruit spreads made from apples and wine slowly cooked together, and from fried bananas mashed with cinnamon.
Another group made rice balls from last night’s rice. Fresh fruit, a chicken and vegetable soup, and what was left from the previous night’s fabulous feast completed our meal.
After breakfast, people took turns telling the rest of us about their altars.
Before we left camp, I signed books and CDs for my new friends, including this gentleman who writes for an outdoor living magazine called Field Life.
After camp ended, some of us staff members went to a nearby hot springs to soak. This lovely lifesized statue stood outside the hot springs near Doshi where we went.
I was so happy to soak in hot mineral water after a weekend in the chilly mountain air.
Next we drove to Fujino to have supper with Setsuko Miura, Jun and Ren, and some of their artist neighbors and their children. Everything on the table was either grown organically or wildcrafted, and prepared at home, either by Setsuko and Jun, or by their friends.
Naturally farmed rice with wild mushrooms in one dish, salad of garden vegetables in the other. At this gathering Setsuko presented me with the copy of Fukuoka’s book The Road Back to Nature from which I’ve been quoting ever since.
On their porch, harvested millet dries on the the stalk.
In the hallway, a painting of a meditating man with the same rainbow light coming from his crown chakra as my peace girl painting in the upper right corner of my home page.