A boat signifies a journey. It takes someone away, and brings them back. It is the perfect photo to express my coming and going to Japan.
Packing my bags in the quiet morning of my last day I was playing songs from my laptop. A particular song came on and the music gently swept over me. I began reflecting on my trip - how it is coming to a close - and about how blessed I am. My eyes welled up and I felt the need to write a blog to you and share with you my thoughts.
I guess this trip could be summarized by what happened at the end of class yesterday. These students took a Rhapsody Design class and had not attended any of my previous events in Japan - so it was a one-day deal for them. But for Markio and I it was the closing of a wonderful chapter. As I bid the class farewell, Mariko began to tear. As my translator, this was difficult. I could only speak through her. Of course, being a big baby myself, I begin tearing up too. We managed to say the farewell, but I was reminded how beautiful and precious life is. I'm happy to see that others a world away share the same joys, passions, as well as heartaches as I do.
Many of the students commented that my class offered lessons in life as well as quilting. This is one of my goals. But in the end, I am the one who is blessed. I learn, I become inspired, I find a new light and a spark to keep my soul alive.
At each stop along the way I would play my flute. I would play just a simple song and tell everyone it was a song about peace - which it was. This morning as I close my bags, bulging with gifts presented to me from people I only briefly met, I leave Japan with a heart richer than it was before I came here.
To Mariko - I came to love you. You are an amazing lady and a gentle soul. Thank you for taking such good care of me. I will remember you forever.
So, It was music that moved me to write this. I was playing an album by William Joseph - a pianist - the album is titled Within. I didn't know the name of the song that caused me to be reflective, so I took a look - it was called Homeward Bound - how appropriate! You can take a listen to it on iTunes. The entire album is wonderful, but this particular song was perfect this morning.
I'll admit, I currently have streams of tears flowing down my cheeks, but they are good tears. These tears tell me that I am still alive - that I have many who love me. The tears flow for the farewell I feel in my heart and they flow for the homecoming that I will soon have with those who love me. I hope my words will remind you of how rich your life is and that forever we will be connected to each other by all the threads in our magnificent worldwide patchwork quilt of love.
Farewell Japan - I will miss you!