“Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart”. Rumi
So fellow travelers, this quote came at a moment when I realized just how hard it was for me to wrap my mind around Favorite Youngest Daughter’s return to Tokyo where she is completing her freshman year at TUJ. She left very early this morning and just texted me from O’Hare airport in Chicago “On the plane to Narita!” It will be at least twelve hours before I hear from her in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Knowing she is headed back to her own little apartment in a new neighborhood she says reminds her of home eased maternal concerns for her comfort. Knowing she is looking forward to this semester of classes armed with a new-to-her Canon DSLR camera and a go get ’em atttitude helped me smile through the departure tears. Seeing how much she has grown into independence, asking about budgets and taking time to talk through some decisions about her plans for the summer and next year made the last long hugs (we had to do two rounds) made it just a little easier to watch her walk out of sight towards her gate.
A few years ago I wrote about those emotions of letting go as as I prepared to face a year of big changes. Then it was sunsets which triggered my emotions. This season it has been sunrise which brought that sensation of time’s relentless forward motion. Since New Year’s Day I have watched daylight spread gradually across the sky every morning and thought “No. Wait. Please let us hold onto the star filled dreams of these long winter’s nights.” The yin-yang of sunset-sunrise symbolizes my two daughters so well. One of the great joys of this past year has been watching them grow closer. Favorite Oldest Daughter is thrilled her little sister is taking a photography class from her favorite professor at the Tokyo campus.
Takara on a photo shoot during her 2010 semester in Japan
My younger daughter soaked up every bit of holiday tradition she could fit in during the month she was home. From baking cookies and watching the Muppet Christmas Carol while we wrapped presents, to singing carols at a local Dickens Christmas Festival and the annual family quest for the perfect tree at our favorite Christmas Tree farm. The only thing missing was the Dad-Daughter snowball fight, since there was no snow for ammunition. Oh well, maybe next year.
Dad and Daughter search for the Christmas Pickle hidden each year in the tree by Santa.
And there’s comfort in that thought of “next year” because while our family has moved to a stage of life where we spend more time apart than we do together, it has made the together times all the more treasured. And as I wrote when “the kids” made their big move out West, my heart is happy to see my daughters pursuing their dreams. I would no sooner hold my daughter back from her great adventure across the ocean than I would, even if I could, stop the sun from rising. As I said in the earlier post “If we remain in the past, we have no future. Yesterday is gone and when tomorrow arrives it becomes today. To hold back gains nothing. Love does not clip wings. Love is the wind that carries others to their dreams.”
The sun rose, today arrived. If it means a few heart strings must give then so be it. God speed Emma, may the sun rise and shine brightly on your dreams.
Emma shooting video at Asakusa Temple
Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.