I have a confession: I’m addicted to Japanese rice fields.
Not addicted in the traditional sense, though. I haven’t ever helped plant, take care of, or harvest a rice field in Japan. I eat just as much rice as everyone else, no more no less. I don’t want to actually own my own rice field.
No, my love for rice fields is purely visual.
I love watching the wind play over the tips of the stalks of grass. The sight of green waves, crashing over each other in contrast to the blue sky… well, it calms me.
I could sit outside for hours, watching. In fact, I often do.
I’ve gotten up at sunrise (which is like 4:30am now, because it’s the summer) to watch the sun slowly illuminate the fields. I’ve gone out at sunset, in my same little chair, to watch how the colors of the sunset play with the waves of green. Most days when I’m biking to the station or the supermarket, I will stop for five minutes along the way and just breathe in the sight.
It doesn’t matter how many times I look at rice fields, they still take my breath away.
I realized my love for rice fields while Ryosuke and I were living in Tokyo. Every month we visited his parents out in Ibaraki. And every month, we would borrow their car and go driving on the small roads in between rice fields.
Rysosuke would park the car by the side of the dirt road and we would sit on the ledge with a carton of peach tea and a bag of potato chips, and chat about life while I watched the rice fields. Sometimes we would only stay for ten minutes; other times we would stay for over an hour.
It depended on how long it took me to feel at peace.
I realized that the stress of living in the city was taking a toll on me. And actually, we decided to move out to the countryside once Ryosuke quit his job during one of our trips to the rice fields.
Now we’re surrounded on all sides by these beautiful, green rice fields.
I get to see them every day.
And I’m really, really happy about that.
Of course, the summer is ending now, so they’ve begun harvesting the rice fields.
And they’ve gone back to plots of dirt (which, of course, is sad). All good things have to end, I guess.