It comes every year to Japan. It's both a nuisance and a pleasure. The rainy season. Any excursion includes a clunky umbrella, uncomfortable rain boots, and a jacket that is too much in the hot, muggy air. At the same time the rainy season landscape is undeniably beautiful. It's a mystical landscape where the lines between sky and earth become blurred and clouds haunt the hillsides like wandering spirits. When the rain lifts the earth swells, as if breathing sighs of gratitude for the few precious months of warmth and moisture afforded it each year. When the rains come I am always reminded of what a wonderful season this is.