Archive for March 15th, 2011

Fleeting Moments

“Life is made up of fleeting moments, some of which are locked into the mind and captured within your memory forever. A look, a laugh, a shared communication, a special event, a mundane daily activity or perhaps it is a passerby who catches your eye and is somehow never forgotten.”

Martha Borst


A little more than 30 years ago, I lived in the exact spot of the recent Japanese earthquake epicenter where the villages were leveled, life was lost, livelihoods were destroyed, and a thousand years of farming was wiped away within seconds by crashing timbers, twisted earth and raging waters. Our home was right on the ocean and I have pictures of my carefree little girl walking down the picturesque pathway to the beach. I am certain it is all gone.

I am deeply saddened by the horror I have seen on TV. . . places where I walked and shopped, celebrated the cherry blossom festivals and went to the hairdresser . . . all now completely unrecognizable. The little store with the friendly shopkeeper who swept the sidewalk endlessly, the restaurant where we went for eel, memories of my dear house keeper who put my leather shoes and cashmere sweaters in the washing machine and dryer, her darling little grandson who had the reddest cheeks I have ever seen, the obachans (grandmothers) whose backs were permanently bent from years of sweeping the pine needles in our village (and who always had candy for my two year old daughter), my blind acupuncturist, his family and all of his patients with whom I spent many hours every week sharing our thoughts, wants, needs, fears, hopes and dreams with my very limited Japanese at the mercy of their generous understanding, abundant patience and senses of humor.  All were so eager to learn about this American woman and her unusual ways and I was so interested in learning about them, and we became friends. The effort we put into communicating was heroic and I am now ever so grateful that we all took those fleeting moments together and made them meaningful.

So many of the people in the area were simple, hard working farmers who tended the rice paddies that had been passed down for many, many generations, and although I pray they escaped unharmed, I am sure many must have been caught and lost in the devastation and it truly hurts my heart. They were such beautiful people, so curious, so generous, so lovely, so simple, so sweet.

The horror of those 30 seconds, when their entire world changed, is very difficult to comprehend.

I am thankful for the fleeting moments we shared those many years ago and I will treasure them in my heart forever.

Please give to them with generosity and love and hold them in your prayers. . .

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