I'm going to do a post soon about the autumn bike ride, which was also a pilgrimage stop for me, but today I'd like to just catch up on the little things.
So it's autumn. Unfortunately, my camera is in the shop (I am starting to regret the model I bought.. takes nice photos, but not tank-sturdy to survive life in my purse, apparently?), so I don't have a huge album of autumn leave shots. This year has been weird on that front anyway. It stayed warm far longer than usual, even though there were snaps of what felt like bitter cold, it's really not as chilly even today as December ought to be.
So the fall color has been a little off, a little spotty, a little confused and confusing.
Today, I don't have any classes, so I get to (gratefully) spend a day doing whatever I need to. Last night, I bought bus tickets to Kyoto at the Lawson's near where we have adult English class, and the attendant gave me the receipt but not the tickets themselves. So I had to go back today to get them. The difference there is, last night I had a car, this morning I came by bus.
So I shrugged, put on my jacket against the wind, and walked off to the convenience store. It's not really that far, and it was nice to walk. It's cloudy and sunny in stages, the wind affecting the change. I have things to do, but would rather not spend ALL day at my desk organizing, studying, and otherwise driving myself deskmad.
As I set off, I looked across the river and noticed some bursts of red and yellow on the far mountainside. That part of town is called Uruka, and I've never been over there before. So after I picked up my tickets, on the walk back, I crossed the Uruka bridge and took a stroll through that area, drawn by the beacon of the red maples on the hillside. I thought, maybe it's a momiji park, like the momiji mountain in Yamasaki.
What was important about this walk was the freedom that it required. I walked right out of school and down to Lawson, on an errand, a mission. The teachers knew I was headed there and even knew why (because when I left without my tickets, the Lawson staff called the school.. it's funny actually, because in buying the tickets I mistakenly thought I needed the help of the staff, and ended up with two people watching me handle the ticket machine myself. They good-naturedly asked me about my home and job, so that is how they knew I worked at this school, and were able to call the school and tell my teachers to tell me I needed to come get my tickets!).
But sometimes, even on non-class days, or non-class times of days, I feel chained to my desk, like there's nowhere I can go. But today I thought, if I wanted to, I could just pop into a little cafe, have a cup of coffee, read a book for an hour, and who would it hurt? Who would mind that? They didn't notice or mind that I was missing far longer than it takes to walk to Lawson (which is ridiculous in the first place-- who WALKS to Lawson from here?!) as I took my stroll through Uruka.
It wasn't a park, or a shrine, or anything like that, although there was a temple nearby..
It's nice to get out, sometimes.