Tree burials in Japan

As early as the 1970s, public officials in Japan were concerned about a lack of adequate burial space in urban areas. They offered a variety of novel solutions, from cemeteries in distant resort towns where families could organize a vacation around a visit for traditional graveside rituals, to chartered bus trips to rural areas to bury loved ones. Beginning in 1990, the Grave-Free Promotion Society, a volunteer social organization, publicly advocated for the scattering of human ashes.

Since 1999, the Shōunji temple in northern Japan has attempted to offer a more innovative solution to this crisis through Jumokusō, or “tree burials.” In these burials, families place cremated remains in the ground and a tree is planted over the ashes to mark the gravesite…

While many families electing for tree burials do not explicitly identify as Buddhist or associate with a Buddhist temple, the practice reflects Japanese Buddhism’s larger interest in environmental responsibility. Perhaps influenced by Shinto beliefs about gods living in the natural world, Japanese Buddhism has historically been unique among Buddhist traditions for its focus on the environmental world.

All good news as far as I’m concerned. Over time, both of my parents were cremated and ended up in our family flower garden.

I wouldn’t mind just blowing in the wind up on top of the Caja del Rio mesa. Many fond memories of exploring walks up top. It commands the view to the West every day on my fenceline exercise walks.

Windy, brilliant sunrise


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Haven’t touched the intensity of the colors of this morning’s sunrise a single iota. Only editing was cropping size. It was so brilliant, I got up from breakfast and went out to the gate to grab a quick iPhoto.

Fortunately, the garage shielded me while taking the picture. Wind was already gusting into the 30’s…and got about twice as strong later in the morning.

Worth it.

Black-and-White Sunset


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When the light’s a certain kind of intense, I really love my photos in black-and-white. Just a few minutes before sunset…my last walk of the day passing our wee side meadow to the back meadow and below to the bosque. Passing alongside gramma grass, drying and curling for the winter, wind-broken taller spikes of feathergrass in the back meadow. The low angle intensity of the sun.

Dazzles my old brain.

Morning walk selfie

Living in high desert country is still striking after 33 years, so different from my coastal New England youth. We had 1/2″ of rain, yesterday. That’s about 7% of what we had all of 2018. Lot 4 is located in the Santa Fe River valley, the bosque…at 6300′ altitude. The clouds of mist rising from yesterday’s rain – downstream, behind me – are rare.

Anyway, I took the selfie just to record my new “David Gilmour” haircut.