”yess… no coffee in Misono, I never really wake up!”
”ooh, here you can have ko-hee every day, just ask someone to make it. Every afternoon you can drink ko-hee”
– And such was the conversation that gave me very strong and warm sisterly feelings towards Hide. While Misono is a bit claustrophobic for my taste, with all its elegant meticulousity, the little model farm upholds a sane level of beauty and elegance, the snip of the toilet paper is still neatly folded, and every inside surface cleaned several times per day, but in the farm work it is like anywhere else. We throw around things and some fall on the side, people exchange roles fluently and each person moves to the role which is needed, there is chit chat about everything and nothing, with shy laughs when things get lost in translation, and every once in a while a song.
” Hide I have something to ask that you might find weird because it is not in your culture.
You see, for my spirituality it is very important to go into nature, and touch the soil, hug the trees to really connect, now I see all this amazing forest around and I really really want to take a walk inside it…”
Hide’s face goes blank, then he translates to the others, laughing.
”so you want to go into the forest? For me its fine, I think there are no bears… it might be the only problem if trees fall… maybe its a problem”
Hide needs to call Taka, who is my official caretaker on the trip, to get approval. Then comes back to me.
”so… tomorrow afternoon after lunch you can go have a walk. How long would you like to stay in the forest?”
”maybe some two hours?”
”two hours?!” Hide laughs again…
Later same day after lunch cooked on the traditional wood-stove Eri brings me a whole thermus of ko-hee, and sits down next to me to chat until she is called back into the kitchen. I stay seated on my pillow on the floor and pour myself a second cup and a third, and keep the cup close to my face as I change between inhaling and sipping, as I fall into the gentle music and the fresh air coming from the open door.
The house’s sensei brings me three little packages of ready to use drip filter kohee.
Indeed it is
Next day indeed I go into the forest, in the pouring rain, to the one temple where I truly feel at home. And Eri brings me more ko-hee, more beautiful, beautiful ko-hee.
Peace quietens the space around me, and my heart expands into the great one-life.