Silent as it was, the seasons and the changes they bring to the trees, the mountains, the grass are reminders that this landscape is alive, growing every day, every moment like the person who watches it from afa
Take a look at my personal reasons why I love Japan, a once-secluded jewel of the far east which has become a subject of my fascination since I was 18 and cared for me for almost 2 years of my graduate studies, and who knows we might share the same appreciation.
Then the magic happened. The light was blinding and when I adjusted my sight to the sudden brightness, I thought for a moment that I was magically moved to a place where snow found its abode and a time when moments slowed down to dance with the falling snowflakes.
The inevitable isolation that comes with winter paves the way for a familiarity of those closest to me, and most importantly, of me. Therefore, I am thankful to the “Snow Country” for teaching me that even though the season seemingly disowns me, I own myself the best possible way.
Only to return
From a long deep slumber
The proud sakura.
Everyone was in their formal winter kimono. Bandai-san looked radiant in her green ensemble. I greeted her and told in her in my broken Japanese that I love her kimono and my favorite color is green. She shyly thanked me and showed me the space where I can sit. She sat beside me and we were both facing a lady in a flattering pink kimono, stiff in her sitting position but with hands gentle as the water as she pours the first drop of hot tea in a ceramic cup.
For every fold of each beautifully patterned papers, the conversations, the sharing of secrets, the hearty laugh, the growing trust, even the tea and biscuits we shared — all of these folded into a non-visual but deeper form of human art — that of friendship.
My first roll was messy — the cucumber, the rice, even the nori itself crumbled at every slice. But despite the unpalatable presentation, my first sushi roll tasted good — thanks to the UMEX members and my classmates who made this experience “unforgettably delicious.”
The children at Hirokami Higashi Elementary School blew the change. And they have been transforming me one school visit at a time.