Monday, January 11, 2016

To Everything There Is A Season

We just finished Christmas and New Year’s.  The middle and end of December showed many of the leaves changing colors to red and yellow.  That seemed late to us, whose leaves in Utah change in October.  Many trees here don’t lose their leaves, and flowers are still growing.  Last year, we had green lemons growing on our tree all winter.  In spring, the lemons finally turned a beautiful yellow.  We picked them, cut them, finding that their skins were super thick, to survive the winter.  Pretty amazing.  We sure enjoy getting to see the beautiful countryside.  It is nice to see trees and flowers mingled with town, the beautiful rice and fruit farms, the rolling hills, and the majestic mountains.  No matter where you live, you can enjoy nature.  “To everything, there is a season”.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) The changing of the seasons and leaves turning remind us that life also has its seasons.  We watch our children with their children now from afar here in Japan and are reminded we may be finishing a season of our lives too.  Whatever season we are in brings its joys and its challenges.  How we face those challenges makes all the difference in the world to ourselves and those around us.  Here is a great article about seasons in nature and in our lives:

And if you have a minute enjoy this beautiful song and video "Sunrise, Sunset" by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 
Here is a glimpse at some of our colored leaves of this season of our lives:

The brush was turning orange.  Love the view of the Sakurajima Volcano.

Some of the trees have lost their leaves, and some of them stay green all year.

A chilly winter look, with snow on the hills.

Some of the changing leaves were so red or orange.

Some more trees that just lost their leaves.

Such beautiful colors.

We just finished that calendar.  Time to get a new one.  Luckily Brother Imafuku gave us a new one from his sister's store, "Fukumoto".

The elders took this shot of the New Year's sunrise, while looking at the volcano.
Elder Garrett Parry took this time laps video of the amazing New Year's sunrise, coming up beside Sakurajuma volcano. 

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