A beautiful day for taiko!

On Sunday May 18th, I was thrilled to be performing taiko again after a 9 month break from performance. Near the end of my last pregnancy, I focused on observing practices because it was just too darned hard to move around! But boy did I ever miss releasing my energy into those taiko! It's really difficult to explain the release when you can put your spirit and energy into those fantastic drums.

The photos in this post were taken by Geneviève Demers, who is currently taking taiko classes at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal and who attended O-Hanami.

After the birth of Calvin, I took a couple of months to stay at home and adjust to the new family dynamics and routine (like there is ever a routine with a newborn in the house - ha!). In the new year, I started going back to practices again, and I slowly started to play again in February. It was honestly quite intimidating to play again, because everyone there is so awesome and in incredible shape! They had been going through some pretty grueling practices as well as working on new compositions, so I had a lot of catching up to do! Obviously, I'm still not there yet, and just hoping to be up to par in the coming months...

I committed to participating in 2 performances per month max, in order to balance my priorities of family and taiko. Back when I was single, taiko was my no. 1 priority in life! Seriously, I would do multiple practices and shows each week and revel in the (muscular) burn. Well, I'm still passionate about it, but I must admit that my priorities have shifted after getting married and giving birth to 2 beautiful treasures! There's less time to do anything outside of family time, because the kids are quite demanding at this age. But I don't regret it because time flies by so quickly with Kira and Calvin. Kira is already well into her "terrible 2's" and Calvin is sitting by himself! But, I digress...

My first performance back was at O-Hanami, a picnic under the flowering crabapple trees at the Japanese Botanical Gardens. What a beautiful setting, and a fabulous event to share the gardens and Japanese culture with the public! In addition to Arashi Daiko, Sandokai gave a kobudo demonstration. And, it was a perfect, sunny day with a few clouds and a light breeze.