My family and I spent the day in the country side. The International Club that we belong to had a family event. It was the first event we attended since becoming members. It was really fun. The place where the event was held was so lush and green. The drive on the way there was quiet and peaceful. It was great to look out the window and see all the rice fields, and the longed necked grey and white cranes gracing several fields. The landscape was idyllic. The traditional Japanese houses with grey tiled roofs nestled against beautiful green mountains.
The park at which the event was held was a patch of land next to a river and a small wood. You had to walk across a bridge to get to the picnic area. The water was so cool and clear with soft, flat stones on the river bed. Several children were playing in the shallow river, and my daughter, who loves the water, was soon playing along side them. In no time, she had acquired a fishing net from some older children who had welcomed her in their quest for life, and she had a blast dipping her net in the water in an attempt to catch a frog or small fish. Her new found friends had caught a frog and were keeping it in a blue plastic bucket. I watched as my daughter excitedly took the frog in her hands squealing as it jumped free from her grip.
As my daughter disappeared around the bend to return the frog, I watched as a group of toddlers clad in bathing suits waded through the water. One in particularly made eye contact with me, and instead of the usual deer-in-the-headlights reaction I get from children his age, he smiled and reached out his hand to me. I returned his smile and lightly touched his palm to mine in a gentle high five. It was an instant connection, and I was taken aback by the encounter.
Everyone at the park, including the large group of about fifty people from the club were so open and friendly. The little boy’s mother came to check on her little son and stopped to chat with me for a bit. Surrounded by the lush green of the Japanese country side, I felt as if my soul were being recharged. I dipped my hands in the cool water and found the refreshing waters invigorating. It was like being in a dream.
It was a lovely day. The sky was thick with clouds which promised rain, but luckily for us, that rain did not come until the end of the day. It came down in a sprinkling as we made our way to our car, and by the time we got home it was pouring. As I clutched my little son in my arms, covering him with a towel against the rain, I thought of how much I loved the Japanese country side. It was so green. The mountains are at least three or four different shades of green. I could gaze at them all day.
I will miss the green the most when I leave Japan. I will carry it with me in my memory for the rest of my life. Today couldn’t have gone better. It reminded me of what I love about Japan. Today, I realized that it will be hard to let go of the place I’ve called home for more than ten years of my life. Today leaving Japan felt like more than a notion; it felt very real. I can feel myself pulling away, saying my goodbyes and preparing for the day my family and I will leave this island country, return to my husband’s and my home country, and start a new chapter in our lives.
Bright is the way ahead. It is full of possibilities and wonders I am eager to experience. There are also so many more unknowns than I have ever faced in my life thus far. By committing to following my calling, I am surrendering completely to my path letting my intuition take me where it will and letting go of the how concentrating only on the what and the why. We are venturing into uncharted territory although we will be returning to familiar ground. Yellow is the color I see ahead of me, but now I see green, the color of life and abundance. If I had not lived in Japan, I don’t think I would have had this life affirming color in my pallet. There is nothing like it in Colorado where I grew up.
I am filled with gratitude for all that Japan and my time here has taught me. It has brought me to my life’s purpose and it has prepared me for what lies ahead. Two years ago when I was desperate to flee Japan, the color I saw was a washed out shade of grey, but now I will remember Japan as green, deep and lush and teeming with life. Japan is ever green. It is the place of my awakening, and for that I will always be grateful to the people who helped me grow, and the experiences that led me to my truth.
Until next time, I wish you all the very best.