Saturday, October 01, 2005

HELPING THE COMMUNITY

The TIME: 8:00 A.M.

The Place: JINJA- [the LOCAL SHINTO SHRINE]

I GOT UP early today for the scheduled KUSAKARI [GRASS-CUTTING]

at the local JINJA [SHINTO SHRINE] near our home.

AS USUAL, JIJI didn't go.

He never does.

BUT I DID.

*

IT WAS a sight to behold:men and women all walking towards the TEMPLE.

It was as if everyone were united and determined to do something for the community.

**

INSIDE THE SHRINE is a TEMPLE: very similar to our own CHAPEL.

The only difference is that it is bordered by large trees.

The EVERGREENS offer shade in the summer, which is good.

The fresh air it gives is a welcome treat, indeed.

It also offers a sort of spiritual refuge for those who want peace and quiet.

For these refreshing greeneries,

it is always easy to spot a SHRINE wherever I go...

in fact, anywhere in The Land of the Samurais.

***

OUR AREA is composed of several GROUPS.

ALL these groups converged today and cleaned the Shrine

in preparation for the MATSURI [FESTIVAL]

scheduled on the second Saturday& Sunday of October.

These MATSURIs are done as a form of GRATITUDE FOR A GOOD HARVEST,

quite similar to that one we have somewhere in Laguna.[sorry, I forgot the name of the place].

****

WHILE the meeting was primarily intended

for the cleaning and sprucing up of the area around the Temple,

most women, as well as the men in the community used the time

to exchange pleasantries and revive friendships among the participants.

*****

THE WOMEN mostly took care of the small grasses along the path leading to the TEMPLE;

THE MEN took care of the trees and the big bulk of dried weeds and placed them in small trucksto be deposited somewhere.

******

ME?

I stayed with the OBA-SANs [TITAs] in our group,

and well....talked for a while with some of them.

But mostly, I limited mine with the AISATSUs [GREETINGs].

I was hoping I can catch up with the Sunday Mass in IWATA...

but due to the volume of grass and other 'talk'...I failed to.

*******

AFTER that, area leaders distributed the drinks: a can of juice/tea/coffee.

It was also one way to check the attendance.

That spells a penalty/fine of 1,500JpY [PhP 750.00] for each absence.

Some areas impose a bigger amount.

********

THEN ALL HEADED FOR HOME.

ON THE way home, one of the OBA-San in our group asked me

to accompany her to her HATAKE [paddy].

She handed me a couple of bags with GREEN PEPPER and a kilo and a half [maybe] of SATOIMO [TARO/GABE sa 'Pinas].

*********

I ONLY WISH we have similar activities like this in Inang Bayan.

Working together in any endeavour would surely benefit the area we live in.

Giving money or making donations is a good deed.

BUT GIVING SOMETHING OF YOURSELF IS BEST.

WE must not only take; we must also give.

**********

GOOD DAY.

GREAT SWEAT.

HAPPY INTERACTION.

PLEASANT SMILES.

*


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