This post will have nothing to do with work, because I am writing about the vacation day we took.
Another missionary kid came to stay with the Kaufmans for about a week, which was a lot of fun. But she did have to return to her family who were staying in a town by a lake on the other side of the mountain. It was decided that we were going to take her back, then spend the rest of the day with her family there in Nojiri. And so one gray morning we loaded the van and took off. It was a stunning two hour drive. The mountains and farmlands stretching out on all sides took my breath away. It was one of the most enjoyable trips I've ever taken.
We arrived at the cabins and decided to swim in the lake before the approaching typhoon hit. So I borrowed a swimsuit and we went down to the water. I don't want to spend forever gushing about the scenery, but the sky was such a perfect mixture of blue and white. The mountains surrounding us were a vivid green that contrasted with the clear, clear water. I am not sure I have ever seen natural beauty to rival that day.
We all took turns attempting to wind surf, at which only two of us were successful. But it was fun to try, and fun to be in the water again. After a picnic lunch Abby, Essie, Caroline, Amos and I walked to the high jump. The high jump is in an isolated area and rests at the end of a concrete dock that is half submerged in the lake. The tower you climb up and jump off of was old and rickety, but still safe enough to use.
I had never jumped off of something so high before. I remember looking down at my toes, so far above the water. It had looked like a shorter distance from afar. But then that moment after you jump, before you hit the water, is a mixture of terror and bliss. Sailing through the nothingness, anticipating the cool water that closes over you completely.
We all spent some lovely hours jumping and talking out there on the dock. Across a curve in the lake there was a choir singing, and their voices drifted across the water in a surreal fashion. There were dozens of dragonflies flashing in the sunlight as they flitted across the lake. Everything about the day was vivid and intense, and remains one of my favorite memories of the trip. Everything from the strong sun to the musical screech of the Japanese cicadas—I loved it all.
No typhoon came that day. It was clear the whole time, so we all managed to get a good sunburn. We finished the day with an excellent meal at a restaurant where you catch your own fish and they cook it for you. The drive back through the dark was spent trying not to touch my roasted skin and staring out at the moon.
God really used that vacation day to refresh my spirits and prepare me with the energy I needed for the rest of my trip. He is so good. =)