“Kodo Village Working Bee” by Masayasu Maeda
Kodo Village Working Bee
On April 6, we all took part in the annual Kodo Village Working Bee.
Every spring at this event, all the Kodo members and staff meet the newly-arrived apprentices for the first time.
The first-year apprentices arrived on Sado from around Japan and overseas just two days prior. Seeing them full of hope and nerves, I was reminded of myself standing in their place two years ago. It was really moving to see.
During the working bee, we gather wood in the forest surrounding the Village and cut it into firewood to use over the next winter.
Some Kodo members have just returned from Europe and Brazil and others spent the long winter here on Sado. All of them join the staff and apprentices to work in the woods for the whole day. Kodo Village is surrounded by trees and I really felt the arrival of spring by spending the day outdoors with all the new buds and shoots.
It is hard to find the right words to explain it, but when we all work together I feel a unique sense of fulfilment from this communal life and lifestyle. It made me think of how the wind on Sado Island and the communal atmosphere at Kodo Village get infused with different “breezes” from around the world through Kodo’s travels. As I thought about this phenomenon, we carried and stacked wood…carried and stacked, carried and stacked…and by the end of the day we had created a somewhat artistic wall of firewood.
My fellow junior members and I began our new life at Kodo Village two months ago. We have fulfilling days, and other days that don’t go so well, but we all do our very best everyday.
The grass and flowers are growing so quickly.
Everything is suddenly so green.
This is my third year on Sado Island, after two years as an apprentice, and I can see that I still have plenty to learn from this environment and lifestyle.