I’m fortunate. I work in an office in Yokohama, Japan, so high that it has an incredible view of the city. And, not just that. If I look one way, I can see a part of the port. On the sunny days, the water glitters in the way that takes your breath away and inspires the deepest of reflection. If I look the other way, Mt. Fuji stands in her regal glory, crowned with white snow, like a sentry beside the mountain spine that surrounds this side of the city.
It’s impossible not to look at. And I do look at it, several times a day. It’s a most beautiful view for contemplation, mindfulness, and inspiration. I generally arrive first to the office, so I love to sit by the window and watch the world as I think about my intentions for the day.
It strikes me, then, as entirely baffling as to how the whole mountain spine, Mt. Fuji included, can sometimes altogether disappear.
On cloudy days, a blanket of clouds sits high enough that the city is in view, but the mountains are hidden. The whole horizon changes and it looks like the mountains were never there at all, just a city stretching out to the edge of our vision.
消えました！ (It’s disappeared!)
On such days, it is strange for me to look out of the window and find the things I love to look at completely gone, without a trace. How can such massive things, that stretch around the majority of the view from our window, be completely hidden?
It strikes me the fragility of what we know and come to get used to. When these things disappear, like Fuji-San and her mountain spine, it throws us, leaving an indescribable feeling of uncertainty.
I stare at that distance, looking for the mountains and the new horizon that has formed. It makes me think about the old beliefs that the world had an edge where, if we walked far enough, we could fall off into nothingness. On days like this, it really does look like there is an edge, with cloud cutting the horizon before the place our adjusted eyes know it should be.
The horizon is closer, it’s strange.
And the fragility of the reality that we know and adjust to is curious.
I know that by the end of today I will adjust to this mountain-less horizon, and when next I see Mt. Fuji I will be just as in awe as her as ever.
Then my routine mountain wonder and reflection can resume as usual, like all living things prefer: routine and normality.
Credit to Aunt Masako on Pixabay for her beautiful photo of Yokohama City and Mt. Fuji!