Recently I was asked to paint a picture of my surroundings with words, and this is what I wrote:
It’s been raining, frosting, and snowing on and off over the last few days, with bits of bright sunshine in-between. Outside it is silent, aside for the sound of a few birds, the peeping of deer, and occasional construction.
Now that the winter is beginning to wane, workers are busy trying to fix roads and mountainsides that were damaged last year during the heavy typhoons. There is also the infrequent sound of farming equipment on warmer days, as rice farmers begin to repair fences, and prepare fields for planting.
It smells like damp dirt. (more…)
A large area of Southwestern Japan was recently hit with record rainfall, and as of the last time I checked the news report, more than 90 people had passed away from this latest natural disaster, and dozens more were still missing. Rescue workers are working hurriedly to save more people as floodwaters rise, and landslides continue as the fragile, wet earth is exposed to more and more water.
Our county in Hyogo prefecture was one of several that received purple-level (the highest level) emergency warning, and although we did not have to evacuate, our alarms blared through the night at 11:30pm and again at 2:30am on July 6-7th as rain hurtled toward the ground.
It was the first time either of us had heard phone and radio alarms related to rainfall, which are usually reserved for severe earthquakes. My husband and I have lived through multiple natural disasters and dangers in Japan, including typhoons and earthquakes.
It can be easy to become desensitized to the grim death counts published by the media, or for each disaster to seem like yet another false alarm. (more…)