November 04, 2005

Following the Past

I went back to Shimizu Town yesterday to celebrate this year's Culture Day. On my way up the mountain, I remembered many mornings on the bus--rising at 6:00am sharp to ride sleepily in the heated bus up the windy road along the Arida River. Those mornings were full of joy. The one boy who commuted from Wakayama City (roughly a two and a half hour commute) was always too shy to speak with me, but still grinned in appreciation for my speaking to him. Then there was Rumiko, who always wore a very lovely perfume and sat in front me. She always slept with her head drooping straight down, her chin at the point where the collarbone meets in the center. I was always excited to be going to that quiet place where the sounds of leaves, wind, and an occassional bird are the only sounds you can hear from the school building windows...Anyways, yesterday I stumbled unawares into Shimizu Bunko's High School Festival, at which I enjoyed chanko nabe, a stew served for sumo wrestlers with various veggies, meaties, eggs, miso, kimchee, etc. After the festival, I headed to Shimizu Onsen for an hour of roasting in the sauna, dipping in the ice cold water, then soaking up the hot spring water in a 15 minute rotation. The air from the cedar forests was pungent and cool. It was perfect.

When I went back home via Kibi, I made a stop at the Hayashi residence, a home just next to my old flat out in the mikan yards. There I met Ryoko, the youngest daughter (24 or 25) and her one son, Sora (maybe 3). Soon Kaede (6) and her younger brother Soya (1 or so) came running out from the back of the house and the jungle gym was officially declared. For the next half hour or hour I was their climbing apparatus, which they all used to the fullest extent. Then Hiromi, the second daughter of the family (27 or 28) and mom of Kaede and Soya, came out with her two month old baby boy, Ryu. Seeing a chance for a break, Hiromi plopped Ryu into my lap. After I held Ryu for a while I started to get the feeling that probably anyone would have in my situation"...Awww...I want a child someday as well..." Ryu being the inexplicable miracle that he is, I was reminded of that secret wish of mine to have a family. Anyways, I had some tea, spoke with the grandmother, moms, sons and daughters of the entire family and then went on my way back to the city, my bag full of mikan and instant ramen packets.

What a beautiful day it was. I was reminded of the fact that I will remember that first year living in Kibi for my whole life, a year in which I felt something very deep and strangely wonderful. There is no way to ever put it into words, but there it is--always before me.


Post a Comment

<< Home