It was very difficult to part with Scott and Masako. I knew them only a few days, but when we said good-byes, I told them I loved them. This completely unplanned detour turned out to be a fully pre-arranged affair. Arranged by Destiny.
I was standing on the side of the road and smiling. At that moment, it seemed nothing in the word could take away the amazing feeling I felt inside. I felt complete; I felt I was being taken care of, watched over; I felt at ease; I felt powerful; I felt I could take on the whole world and make it beautiful.
Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t notice that I’ve been standing for 30 minutes and not a single car has passed by. I knew I was in a remote area but.....common. Still filled with good thoughts and wonderful feelings, I knew that I wouldn’t get stranded. I knew my next companion would come just in time.
10 minutes later he drove by. In the opposite direction where I needed to go. But then I saw him turn around and pull over. His tanned face and generously adorned with wrinkles eyes smiled at me. Otomo-san was in his 60ies. He was passing through town but was happy to give me a ride (in the opposite direction where he needed to go) so we could get to know each other.
The ride with Otomo-san was sunny and peaceful. We communicated vocally only a little but I felt his energies. He sincerely wished me good travels and lots of luck on the road.
My host in Honjo was a quiet Irish man. (Yes, I didn’t think that was possible either. Learn to dismiss stereotypes). He was 28 years old and in love with Japan. May be not in my obsessive way but his own pure and timid way. His eyes lit up whenever he talked about his students. He especially had a soft spot for his younger students (6-8 year olds) who still haven’t lost the innocence in their eyes.
Owen dedicated the first morning to showing me the One Thousand Jizo (guardian deity of children) site.
Other than that morning I didn’t spend too much time with Owen. He seemed either overwhelmed by my loud presence or an introvert who appreciated his own space. In either case, he offered me his bike and I was able to explore the city on my own.
Honjo is located on the coast of the Japanese Sea. 20 minute ride on the bicycle took me to the beach where I was able to relax and soak up lots of rays. I realized how much I love water when I stood in front of the sea, feet buried in the sand, sun shining on my face and happy glow in my heart. I remembered growing up in Connecticut. Our home was only a 7 minute ride from the beach and I spent countless summer days in the water. When my best friend joined my life 2 years into my U.S. existence, we walked to the beach every single night. We sang songs, ate ice-cream, talked about life, and swam naked in the pool after the beach was closed to the public. I remembered that I vowed to live near the ocean when I finally settle. Even though I’m a very poor swimmer and have a phobia of swimming in the deep water, I want to be able to step outside and feel the ocean’s sun, smell the sea breeze, taste the salty water, hear the seagulls’ songs and feel the grains of sand in my palms.
I spent the evening biking around town. Getting caught in the rain and riding up the hills; concentrating on the road I was able to once again let go of thoughts which overwhelm me when I am left alone. Breathing in fresh rainy air I was content and at peace.