The Dam

Position: Alongside Koniya Ko
Weather: overcast, some drizzle, mild

It was another indoors day mostly. Now that the netbook seems to be fully functional again, I spent much of the day reloading programmes and doing some forward planning. I need to work out what happens after Kagoshima, and indeed what I will do when my visa expires on 16 April. My current thinking is to make sure I am in Fukuoka at least a week before hand, as Fukuoka is a major city with various consulates there, and various modes of transport to South Korea, which, if necessary, I can head for if the authorities will not extend my visa.

Hence I spent most of the afternoon at the community centre on the internet downloading stuff and researching rules and regulations, then, this evening, I went for a walk before it got dark, in the way of a bit of exercise. I chatted briefly with an elderly gentleman who was planting some bulbs in a narrow roadside strip of garden. It was clearly a small patch of public land that otherwise would have been little more than dirt and weeds. I gathered that over many years he had transformed it into a small patch of beauty. I tried to convey my appreciation.

As I walked on I decided to follow one of the creek-drains up as far as I could go. It turned out to be quite a fascinating walk, taking me up narrow alleyways, behind houses, shops, and sheds, where, like the roadside garden, patches of beauty lay alongside suburban refuse; the tinkle of running water over rocks and small falls, patches of greenery, stands of tall grass, and blooms of flowers, amongst grey concrete, rusting bicycles, and piles of old tyres. But even the refuse wasn't ugly. It all seemed to mingle together in the evening light in a romantic way, symbols of abundant life. I eventually ended up at a small dam. It had steps leading up one side which were not too badly overgrown, so of course I climbed up them. At the top was a lovely view, on both sides: to the south an urban landscape cradled between the valley walls leading down to the sea, where a ship lay at anchor, its riding lights starting to shine in the increasing gloom; and to the north wild nature, green, dark, damp, impenetrable. It seems the dam wall formed a line beyond which nature could not trespass, at least not without someone's permission. But, on the other side, it seemed to me, that nature was so profuse and overcrowded that if that someone was to let their guard down it would not be long before nature broke the barrier and inexorably reclaimed its own.

I just stuck my head out the companionway: the sky is clear, it has stopped raining, the stars are out and a full moon shines bright.

All is well.