Lightening Struck Trees


Lightening struck trees ⓒBearspawprint2014

Lightening struck trees ⓒBearspawprint2014

If a tree manages to grow taller than its neighbors, it won’t be long before lightening strikes. Pines are particularly vulnerable.


8 comments on “Lightening Struck Trees

  1. 1EarthUnited says:

    I’m sure there’s a Japanese metaphor herein, tall trees that stick out… BOOM!


    • That is what low lintels were for. To make all visitors equally vulnerable. Tall trees that stick up = practice for samuri. Renshu renshu.

      When I needed new shoes, in Japan, I could not find any. None. Zilch. Nada. Even men’s geta or thongs had the toe piece too close to the edge. I do not have short toes or five inch long square feet. Oh well. I had some platform sandals (four inch heel) that I really didn’t want to wear all the time, but when that was all that was left, I painted my toe nails RED to accent my very pale skin, and wore them. But sometimes I felt like a tree waiting for the lightening.

      We went to a zoo where a couple of the dojo folk worked. I sat on a bench to rest and let the boys rest, too. More people came to gawk at, and take pictures of, the exotic gaijean (me) than looked at the (other) animal curiosities. My husband went off with his karate’ buddies, they were going to let him help with some of the animal care. But they were showing off too much, and the ostrich got loose. Renshu Renshu Renshu Hahahahahaha! The great karate masters chased that ostrich all over the place…. looked like an old Toshiro Mafuni movie 😀 Hahaha Renshu = training or practice


      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Funny but so true, they do have “westernized” stores that cater to “big & tall” which is everyone else not Japanese. 😉 I did come across a new generation of Japanese teens and they are notably taller. I for one cannot find shoes period. I wear size 12 US, 44 Euro, 28.5 Japanese… but of course they don’t make shoes over size 24 for women. Too bad there was no Amazon mail order during the 80s. Renshu renshu for sure, you must have stood taller than most men, haha.
        Did you have to kneel down to take a shower? baths are out- tubs are ridiculously tiny. Gaijin (外人) is a contraction of the word gaikokujin (外国人), and literally means “outsider”. It carries a negative connotation but also used as a term of endearment. Clearly there’s greater acceptance of foreigners these days, but I do get many second glances because of my height. I just smile warmly and they politely giggle and walk away. I felt at home in Japan, people were super friendly and hospitable.
        The dirty secret is radiation levels sampled in soil around Tokyo all tested higher than normal, which may be hazardous to health, but no one is allowed to talk about these issues. The prime minister past a law forbidding gossip or news coverage, but everyone knows the truth. It’s a major cover-up and containment is impossible at this point. Environmental activists who have spoken out/ protested have been arrested and detained. Nobody is really surprised, the gov’t is ineffectual and Japan is not seeking outside help. TEPCO wants to build NEW nuclear plants – OY! I can only weep for this nation, beautiful culture and tradition, but standing up and facing the truth…. Renshu Renshu!


        • We had a traditional bathing room. No shower, but a hot tub, not a lay down or swim tube, but comfortable enough. The bathing room itself was almost as big as the kitchen. The toilet room was in another area, and smaller. One washes before entering the tub. Rinse off with clean water scooped from the tub. Drain is in the middle of the floor, the tub had it’s own drain. Japanese, in private baths, then, don’t change the tub water as frequently as we did. Probably, I would have been viewed as wasteful because I did not rinse my hair with water my husband, or children, had been immersed in. However, some eccentricities were allowed, and even admired, for me, that were not acceptable for most others.

          I did not ever visit a public bath house, or a public lavatory, nor did I eat or drink in public places. I carried what my boys would need, with me. My students came to me, so mostly I did not have to use public transportation, either.

          The common meaning for gaijene is (was) foreign-devil, as in oni. I heard someone use gaijene at the zoo, and asked my students, as it was a new word, to me. As I had maintained an honest atmosphere in class, they replied honestly also. We spent several class periods after that on various prejudices and associated words, also about what was acceptable in USA, and to whom it was, or was not, we also ent from that to women’s issues. If I didn’t know an answer to a question, I said so. Indeed, we had some good laughs, but always I sat in a formal posture, so that a certain atmosphere was created to foster quicker learning and an intimacy of ideas that they did not necessarily have to maintain outside, even with each other.

          One of my students’ husband owned a conglomerate of factories and businesses, including a tabi business. In the end she traced around my foot, and brought not only me, but my husband and boys, specially made tabi. That helped a lot. Even though they were extremely wealthy, by any standards, anywhere, I, as sensei, TEACHER, was seen as being in a class above even my husband, samurai. They tried to anticipate or see troubles I had, even unmentioned problems, and address them in a way that was the least bother for me. Apparently some of the high-end shoe stores I had visited had relayed messages up the ladder, until the owners wife heard and recognized that it must have been me. So they got a new idea for making more money, in the future, and I got tabi, and she got honor by providing them and the store people got honor by passing the info along. My students, all wives of extremely wealthy businessmen asked me to please let them know if I needed something BEFORE I tried to go shopping. 🙂 Ripples 🙂

          The community were I lived is between Fukushima and Tokyo. Urawa has, since I was there, been incorporated into surrounding urban areas. and is part of a larger city. I was able to find were I was on Google Earth by using some reference points that have not changed.

          Some truths are faced squarely. One is that if there is nothing that can be done, without a revolution, then ignore it, as best as can be done.


  2. jaelinpalmer says:

    Wow! Wouldn’t want to be near those in a lightning storm!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SalvaVenia says:

    Clever nature, thus protecting the rest of the gang … 🙂



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