|Flowers Kuniko Nakano, of the Ohara School of Ikebana|
This weekend my sister-in-law Laura and I trekked up to North Sydney, to see what treasures we would find at the Annual Sydney Japanese School Fete.
At this school, children of all backgrounds are immersed in a bi-lingal, bi-cultural environment.
Not just language, but other blessings of being Japanese seep in too.
What would these be?
|My sister-in-law Laura at the Sydney Japanese School track|
Being keenly observant.
Cultivating tiny pockets of beauty.
Putting in every effort till a desirable goal comes true.
Tea Ceremony Cubby House
I needed to lay low that day.
So after a quick survey of the noisy and exciting areas - flea market, festival food stalls, drumming - I retreated to the Tea house, and offered my services at a 'carrying girl'.
Being a useful participant is generally more rewarding than being a passive recipient of entertainment. Once you are over 25, anyway.
The fresh sweets were made my new friend Hirano-san, and other clever mothers. White bean paste, rice powder, and green tea are used.
The hot Macha tea itself is bitter.
Instead of adding sugar, you ready your mouth with a sweet, and the contrast is wonderful.
Here are little girls and their teacher. Today they helped carry sweets and tea to the guests. They practiced the skills of moving with micro-awareness, so the tea doesn't slosh or spill. They practiced being aware of their bodies, being in-the-moment, so they can move gracefully in a very small space.
|From the ikebana display. Tea flowers are even more modest.|
A tea party at a tea house is usually intimate, just a handful of guests scrambling through a hole in the wall, rather than a full-size door. Its like playing cubby house, for grown ups.
But its also a way of life, way of being and relating to the world around you.
Without it, my daily life would have been cluttered with unnecessary difficulties. I would have missed so many moments of pleasure.
|Mitsuba sits on the bench at my Balmain house-sit|
It will star in my next balcony garden, when I find my next home.
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