I don’t think onions grow in rabbit holes but I was thinking about metaphors that mean roughly the same thing. For example, “digging deep”, “peeling back the onion”, “going down the rabbit hole”, etc.

I recently became involved in buying and renovating a ski lodge in Japan and have been here for the last week or so, sorting out a lot of things we need to do before opening this winter. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot to do.

One evening, I was wondering how we ended up here, embarking in this great adventure. Personally, the snow attracted me to the area and got me back a few times. I fell in “like” with it. It was nice, had a great time, not overly built, some beautiful scenery, all draped in white. Yes, it was like, a bit superficial so clearly not love yet!

Over the last week or so, I have had the opportunity to see this place in a completely different season (summer, AKA the Green Season). All of a sudden, the buildings don’t look as robust, you can see a few more cracks, potholes on the road, more imperfections. Everything feels a little bit more messy. You appreciate how the snow covers up so much. Things that looked very good earlier this year, look more tired, dated.

It is now, truly beautiful. Imperfect, messy, with character. I have had the benefit to meet so many locals during this visit, have heard a lot about the local history, the way things work and why, how some people deal with each other. Every conversation (ably interpreted, of course) has led me deeper, peeling that onion, going into a rabbit hole.

Every encounter, we learn something else, we meet someone else, we understand more, we fall deeper and deeper in love with the place and the dream we are pursuing. And you realise that to fall in love with something, or to develop a passion takes time and effort. Time and effort.

Peel back every layer of the onion. Learn more, ask questions, get deeper. Try to understand, appreciate the culture, the context, get deeper. Recognise why things happen, how they work, get deeper. Only then will you really appreciate the truth of things, people, places, situations. Only then can you really say you are now in love.

When was the last time you dug for onions in a rabbit hole?

Photo courtesy of Myoko Tourism.

Come visit us at Ikigai Lodge. Hint, it is better in person!