It was zero degrees Fahrenheit this morning. That’s up from -2 yesterday, so I suppose we’re inching toward spring. Maybe.
Anyway, to warm my spirits, I dug out this photo from a July in Japan, when it’s HOT HOT HOT. And humid, which makes it even HOTTER than HOT. (My friend Kazumi said before we left on our trip, “You’ll see. In America, if it’s really hot you can go in the shade under a tree and feel cooler. But in Japan in the summer it doesn’t matter if you’re in the sun or in the shade. It’s still hot.” She was right.)
I call this “The Purple Umbrella,” and it sets off a flurry of wonderful remembering. We were in an upstairs teahouse in Kyoto, and I glanced out the window and spotted these two girls walking along with their umbrellas open against the sun. For some reason, it enchanted me. I hope some of that enchantment (and warmth) comes across to you too: