March 1, 2012
There is a little temporary grocery shop beside our work base at Ootsuchi Akahoma elementary school. The shop owner is a gentle artistic soul that loves to draw and write poems. He treats us free coffee everyday. It is a life saver when it is minus zero and snowing!!!
One day in Feb, a Haiku was written on the board. It says,
People who are to be met in dreams
Did you lost many friends? I asked him. He nodded.
His original shop was actually right beside the ocean. When the tsunami came, he made all the customers run and when he finally was going to flee for his own life, the water already came. He had no choice but to hang onto a tree. The water swallowed him and the tree. He was actually under the water for a few minutes, or at least he felt it was.
It is truly a miracle that I am still alive, he said.
Although his family was fine, the land that he was once familiar has lost its landscape and the people he knew.
I look forward to have the volunteers come everyday, he said. I think I did it more for myself.
Sometimes, when the snow is heavy, the Ootsuchi team will call off the work for a day because the land will be frozen.
He said, on one of those days when I don't see the bus arrive in the morning, I would think to myself, 'ahh, maybe they are not coming today...'
Snow day today, and Ootsuchi team is called off.
I thought of the lonely shadow in the small shop as I looked out through the window.
It would be a quiet day today.