We went to Yamaguchi this weekend...and it was absolutely lovely.
It was rainy - but it was wonderful. In fact, I believe sometimes, Japan is most beautiful in the rain. The mist seems to hang over the mountains and temples in a manner that transports to another time period and in the blink of an eye, you make the transition from the modern hustle and bustle of modern Japan to ancient peacefulness.
At the flea market this weekend, I fell in love with Japan, again. As we made our way through tiny booths and ancient antiques, I was made aware - yet again - of the peace that comes with living here.
I ended up hauling home a couple of things from the flea market this weekend...all of which carry stories and memories.
There was a huge blue bottle that I spotted a midst old rice barrels and vibrant dishes. The sweet old lady who ran the booth practically gave it to me for ¥800 and I hauled it around in a big green bag for the rest of the day. It probably weighed 20lbs - I'll show you my biceps later. And there was this sweet, sweet old man with lines around his eyes that told stories of a life well lived. He sat in a smaller booth, alone, and surrounded but draping white linen. And after having a charming 15 minute conversation with him in Japanese, I couldn't help but buy one of his handmade white scarves. I don't know where or with what I am going to wear a white scarf, but I don't care. Because every time I look at that uneven handwoven scarf, I will think of the little Japanese man at the flea market with his heartfelt, carefree who sat and chatted with me for a while. And every time I look at my giant blue bottle, I will think of that sweet lady, my first experience bartering, and the ache in my arms as I carried it through the muddy streets.
And it is because of these collected moments, that these memories will stay with me forever.
So we trekked through Yamaguchi this weekend - in the rain.
And although we were completely soaked, it was an experience that I will carry with me for a long, long time. And I'll always be reminded of this weekend through the white scarf around my neck, and the blue bottle which now makes its home by my bed.