Tokyo : Hell Hath No Fury

So fellow travelers, they say it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity that gets you.

So far both, viciously aided by jet lag, have made the first few days here in Tokyo pure hell. Three days of nausea, blinding headache and crushing fatigue have been sheer torture while trying to navigate the city’s complex transit system during a record setting heat wave. You know its hot when the rush of a subway train pulling up to the platform feels like a tropical breeze.

Add the emotional roller coaster of being back in the country where I was born, a place whose sights, sounds, tastes and smells evoke the most primal memories even as I try wrapping my mind around the idea I am leaving my youngest child on her own in this monstrous megalopolis. I didn’t feel like I was running on autopilot as much as I felt like I was running in crash and burn mode.

Yet somehow I managed to keep functioning. Maybe because my soul chose this place as the starting point for my journey, my roots here are deep and keep me stable. Maybe because in less than a week, I’ve watched my youngest child go from stretching her wings to soaring off the cliff of adventure.

So the day of parent orientation on campus, when I found this spot down the street I knew it was a message.


I stood quietly, listening to the persistent trill of cicadas. Dropping coins into the offering box I asked for guidance to watch over all the brave young spirits so eager to explore. Clapping my hands three times and bowing as I was taught a lifetime ago I simply let gratitude fill my awareness.

On my way back to the subway station I noticed two things. The three day headache was finally gone

and it was still hotter than hell.


To be continued

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure fine you ready.


Deborah H Rahalski

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