Life in Japan | A Strange Welcome to November… A Late Night Fire

From My Balcony

Hitachinaka. Let’s begin with the title of this post. The above image is from late last night. I woke up to alarm chimes and sirens, the intensity of which caused me to get up and take a look.

What I saw caused my heart to sink…My neighbour’s home was on fire. I said a prayer for my neighbour and watched as the emergency services frantically worked to manage the situation. Other neighbours gathered and looked on with horror while a news photographer ran swiftly to capture the unfolding event.

As of this morning, a lone fire engine remained; the firefighters seemed to be investigating the little left of what was once there.

It is a sad reminder that this is also life: managing catastrophes and surveying the damage to make sense of and learn from what has happened.

A New Friend

In contrast to last night’s sad event, I have been spending time considering the concept of home. For most of my life, I have never been able to define it, with little success until now.

I’ll be honest, the thought of defining home has been terrifying. Home, up until recently, brought forth nothing positive in my mind. Like Deirdre of the Sorrows, home represented conflict, isolation, and unhappiness.

Home was a structure filled with the intentions and will of others, a place in which I acted a part that fit the psychological and physical needs of others.

Natural Bamboo Speaker

In my previous post, I wrote about my issues with codependency. So, let’s be clear: I chose, whether consciously or unconsciously, to live in this manner. As an adult, I have always had a choice in how I live my life and with whom.

For over two decades, I chose to avoid creating my home, internally and externally. The past, luckily, remains the past.

What matters now is now.

My life in Japan has taught me that I can create home, a home that is peaceful and filled with harmony and love. More importantly, home lies within me. I can take it wherever I go, recreate as I choose because it is mine.

Perhaps one day I will decide to create a home with someone else, one that can hold the love and happiness as well as the challenges of a family. Even then, my home would still remain.

My Shrine Book (御朱印帳)

Home is a sacred internal space that one manifests externally.

As my neighbour’s home burned, I thought about my physical home and felt calm. My home is within and so can be recreated. Thus, I live free from the suffering of worry of losing home.

To my neighbour, I continue to offer my prayer and hope for the safety of all. Let the sorrow of this moment pass as all emotions, with time, do. Homes can be rebuilt. Let the next one be filled again with love and happiness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s