Patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet.Artistotle
The family and I are visiting Japan for the first time to celebrate the new year with my dad, his family, and my sisters. I’ve been looking forward to this trip since the beginning of the year that being here at this hotel desk at 5:30 in the morning truly sweetened the long and arduous wait.
Though we’ve got our hands full with three boisterous children every minute of the day, I’m so glad we’re all given this opportunity to experience what Japan has to share with the world.
I’ve seen the torii gates in photos and anime, and have always been drawn to their serenity and history.
Taking my own tranquil steps through the gates, and standing in front of the actual Fushimi Inari shrine, I imprint these scenes in my memory as I pause and grasp this renewed connection with the earth and all that has passed through this sacred space centuries ago.
Drinking sacred water at the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, I recall how in Turkey I stepped forward and drunk sacred water with a wish in my heart. Of all that could be asked for, I wished sincerely to love and be loved. A decade later, I’ve got so much more than what my younger self could’ve fathomed.
It’s equally interesting how much I’ve changed since then. All that mattered then was finding love and making sure it lasts forever. Being given that choice once more, and having to choose from three symbolic spouts—Long life, Love, and Wisdom—the twenty-something me didn’t hesitate to extend my steel cup to the water flowing out of Wisdom.
With so much at stake, and three children who rely on us, I knew I’d need all the wisdom and knowledge the world could grant me to make better decisions in the years to come.
The gentle fall of snow—the first in Kyoto for the year—was proof enough that if you dream of something, and hold it dear to you, it will come true.
Is it snowing?
Do you like it?
Snow had always been this white blanket in photos, and I’d imagine how cold it could be to the touch, how quickly it’d melt in my hands, how detailed a snowflake would be if I looked close enough.
Though we experienced a simple flurry at Kyoto, and my hands were freezing that I didn’t have the courage to take off my gloves, seeing the small flecks of the sky’s gentle laughter over our heads, and being able to see it with my loved ones, was one worthy to add to the many photos of that baby girl bundled up and playing in the snow.
Even with so many places and scenes to appreciate, sometimes the walk to an unfamiliar ramen bar for dinner, or crossing the bridge while staring at the towering buildings lighting up the night sky, are what make this trip such a life-changing experience.
Top it with the fresh cold wind blowing at your face, and you’ll find yourself wishing you could hit the Pause button just to drink it all in.
We’ve got a couple more days in Osaka before we take the momentous trip via bullet train to Tokyo. More photos to come, especially when we get to Universal Studios Japan! 🌏