I returned to Japan in April and the hectic beginning of the new school year left me with barely enough time to catch my breath. I apologise for not sharing my musings here for such a long time.
This morning our helper schedule for the summer was finalised. We will have 2 young women helping us through August, maybe the beginning of September, too, depending on whether we survive the summer together or not!
The rainy season brings the farmers the water they need for their rice fields but also means that the temple garden is turning into an overgrown jungle. My lawn is swishing around my ankles and the gravelled areas are gradually turning into a sea of green. I have a very energetic older Japanese woman who helps with the garden once a month or so and I am hoping she can come over before our next event, which is a bus-load of priests who will be visiting the temple on Tuesday to learn more about the world of incense. My husband has been involved with the incense ceremony for many years now. It's an ancient Japanese art along the lines of the tea ceremony and ikebana. The incense ceremony is not so well-known now and not so often practiced, maybe something to do with the exorbitant price of the incense! Did you know it can often cost over a $1000 just for the tiniest sliver of the best incense?