JAPAN DAY 7
Temples 13-16 28km
Total km’s walked in Japan 82
Accumulative total of km’s walked 1589
Today in contrast to yesterdays glorious temple on the top of the hill, todays temples all seemed ancient and old. This contrast made me start thinking about the contrast in scenery. Day’s one & two , saw as walking through suburbia , day three we were into the mountains and then today we were in the country side. Each one different, each one beautiful in it’s on right. I flicked back over my photos and was amazed that each day I had taken roughly the same amount of pictures. So I had seen the beauty in the contrast, which led me to thinking in day to day life, do we see and acknowledge the beauty in the contrast? Scenery is an easy one to appreciate difference, most of us love the quiet gentleness of the country but are also impressed with the bright lights of the city but do we celebrate other contrasts. When all is going well in your life and something challenging comes along, do you get angry and put out or do you celebrate that life has thrown you a chance to become better or stronger? Looking at things as contrast rather than good and bad, or hard and simple changes your perspective. This reminds me of a quote I read “the sun loved the moon so much he died overnight to let her breath” until recently I thought it was just a quote but it is a story(see below) which I think really highlights that there has to be both light and dark in everyones’ life.
HIGHLIGHT: The little town with all the stuffed dolls in and around the town
LOWLIGHT: Sore feet
Grateful to day for laughter and jokes, due to the language barrier. Along the way we are making up stories about things we don’t understand. David believes that the village we walked through with all the life size dolls in it, represented all the people that had died in the village. I don’t think so there was to many of them. Grateful for the beautiful flowers everywhere. The Japanese gardens are filled with beautiful flowers, I have taken a lot of pictures. Grateful for prayers, at every temple that give me time to centre and commit to the process.
The Sad Story Of The Moon & The Sun
The Sun and the Moon passed each other as they did every day when day turned to night. "Good night Sun." the Moon would say as she rose above the earth. "Guard our people well Moon." the Sun would say as he left the sky to sleep. Moon would admire Sun's rays and Sun would admire Moon's gentle light. It was in this way that the two fell in love.
Moon thought about the situation all night as she watched her people from the night sky. When she met Sun as they were trading places again the next day, she called out to him. " Oh Sun, you shine so handsomely and I love you so very much." The Sun replied. " I love you Moon. I always have. When can we be together?" Moon thought about this for a long moment and then spoke softly. " People don't like the darkness of night. It scares children and makes people unable to see what is around them. We could stay together and never let the darkness of night fall on our people."
The Sun agreed to this and said " Come shine with me Moon!" The Moon and the Sun shined all day long as they watched their people. When the time for darkness came, Sun did not set. Things did not work as they planned. Many children below cried because they didn't want to sleep while Sun was still shining and the adults couldn't sleep either because the light from Sun and Moon made the Earth too bright for them to sleep. " Moon," Said Sun, very late into what should have been night time. " The people are weary and can not sleep due to my light." " Yes, agreed Moon. Let us both set so that we may be together and the people may sleep." Sun and Moon again dipped way, way down far below Earth. This however left Earth very, very dark with only tiny stars to make light for the people during night time.
This made things confusing for the people. They didn't know what time it was any more and many people slept well into what should have been day time. This went on for many months, confusing the people. They missed Sun and how he lit their days, helping plants grow and giving life to them and to the animals. They missed Moon and how she gave just enough of a soft glow to make them feel protected at night and how she kept watch over the night sky. Her appearance was what helped them ease into night fall. Pretty soon many people wrote letters and asked Wind to deliver them to Sun and Moon. Most of the letters stated that they missed the two lovers and they needed night and day to remain healthy and strong." After getting many of these letters, Sun and Moon knew the statements were true. Sun looked sadly at Moon. "I love being with you Moon, I love having your soft and lovely glow all to myself and I love you so much that it aches in side to tell you that we need to leave this place and go back to our people. I miss giving my people day light. They need me." The Moon sighed sadly. " Yes Sun, the people need day light and with day light they need night as well. I miss providing them light in the darkness and protecting them while they sleep. I love you, but, we must return to providing night and day for our people.
Sadly, the two agreed that the only times they could be together was the few moments they saw each other between night and day and day and night. And so is life.
At every temple a pilgrim must go through a protocol of cleansing, praying and offering the protocol goes as follows: