Seeing another return of birthday and thinking of my past life as I think I've passed my halfway point already (for a long time now?), I indeed feel it is the nature of the mountains and rivers just near my parents' house that has shaped my sentiments, my tastes and my partly wild-mannish character (to your surprise?) as one of big environmental influencers.
RAKU-HOKU, the northern part of Kyoto city where I was raised and still live, is located on the rim of mountainous surroundings of Kyoto and does boast its rich nature. The rivers and banks there were my playground from childhood.
And at my parents' house, which used to be a Japanese-style auberge originally, they have branched in a brook from Takano river nearby into the garden . It still runs murmuring. This time of the year around my birthday is also a season for fireflies. The neighbourhood of my parents', which is fairly close to Takaragaike Paradise-for-children Park, was a famous spot to connoisseurs where you could watch swarms of fireflies as if pumping from rivers. But since one day in my primary school time when they covered the banks of the small river in front of my parent's house with concrete for bank protection, the river lost so awfully the shellfishes that firefly grubs feed on that my parent's garden became the only place in the neighbourhood where those shellfishes like Semisulcospira Libertina and other river snails grow up.
To our joy, this year, we could notice more fireflies than recently, so even a little kid can scoop and catch one in the air by a hand. I truely wish those tiny light bugs thrive on again, and this heart-touching environment lasts forever in the midst of our town area.