Joy in Heart 心の歓喜

Things I used to believe when I was small...

Unicorns, fairies, the world above clouds, Santa Claus, thought I could walk on the rainbow, and so on.

Even now, part of me still believes, and there is other part of me who wants to keep believing in them.

I truthfully think that I am blessed as I work with children age between 3 and 6 everyday. They fully believe in the special beings in the mysterious world. Each time I get touched by their pureness, my heart gets cleansed. The sincere way children meet with even a bug crawling on the ground, a shape of a cloud drifting in the sky, subtle fading color of a leaf shakes my heart.

Through my heart polished by their pureness, the world seems to become more vibrant.

The proud face of a child who learned to put shoes on by herself, the brightness in a boy's eyes as he learned how to distinguish right and left, the look of a child as he listens to a story I read, the excited voice as she found that her seeds have sprouted, the little hands peeling oranges, and the little feet running as fast as they can move my heart. My heart jumps up in joy and smiles.

I feel that I have the best occupation ever. (Of course, there are a lot of great occupations in the world, so what I mean by this statement is that I found the best one for myself.)

At the end of a day, I inquire myself, "Did I meet with each child in a sincere way? Did I contribute to their growth in the most loving way?" There are always many 'regrets' wishing I had done something differently.

And, as a day begins, I pray, "Please guide me to be a positive influence in these children's lives today."

I am still green as a teacher, and every day is a great opportunity to learn how to better serve them, and children are the best teachers.

I cannot to wait to see them tomorrow.

-------------------------- Japanese -----------------------------












Setting up the Classroom 教室の準備

In August, I was busy getting ready for the new school year. One of the things I was doing was to set up the classroom. Today, I will post some photos from the school I am working at now. The picture above is a play structure donated to the school recently. Children love to play with the swing and the slide; they also come up with their own creative ideas to play with it.

(Japanese) 8月いっぱいは新学期の準備に忙しくしていました。

Toys and teaching materials I received from a teacher who used to teach the grade I am teaching this year.

(Japanese) 私が今年教えている学年を、昨年教えていた先生から譲り受けたおもちゃや教材たち。

The first thing I did was to clean the wall. The black points on the left wall was mold. You can see the difference by looking at the right wall which is after the mold was cleaned with bleach. The school is located where it rains a lot, so dealing with mold would be something I need to work on.

(Japanese) まず一番初めにしたことは、教室の壁のカビをきれいにすることでした。左側の黒く見えるものがカビ。右が漂白剤でこすった後。それからペンキを塗りました。学校が雨のよく降る地域にあるので、カビ対策が要です。

This is the classroom after painted. I like the yellow and blue colors.

(Japanese) ペンキを塗り直した後の教室。柔らかい黄色と床の青が好きです。


A Turning Point 人生の転機

(A leaf that has become skeleton I picked up from ground one day, thinking, "So beautiful!" The vein that once transported life force are now beautiful lace. I thought that the process to assimilate with the mother nature, namely dying, can be so beautiful.)

(Japanese: 「きれいだ!」と思って拾った地面に落ちていたスケルトンになった葉っぱ。この葉っぱの木の糧を運んでいた葉脈は今は繊細なレースになりました。土に還るプロセス、死に行くプロセスはこんなにも美しいのだなと思った瞬間に撮った写真。)

In the past three months, my life has completely shifted 180 degrees.

Many changes have occurred.

I have experienced pains while I was crying with joy for the beauty of life itself.

The metaphor of a downpour washed away my old foundation, and I was making a new one seems to describe what I was going through the best.

Loren and I are no longer together.
He is still a very important person in my life.
I love him as a friend and a soul so dearly.
Now, we have become more than just friends. We are more like a brother and a sister. (Sometimes, we don't know who is the older one, though.) I have learned a great deal of valuable knowledge, skills, and wisdom from him and from the relationship I had with him. As I was blessed with the opportunity to take care of his grandmother with him, I learned the importance of patient, love, and a good sense of humor. We have done so many things together that I cannot even begin to list here in the past three and half years. We have shared some pains and a lot of laughter. I pray that his life from this point forward will be also always filled with light of love.

Loren, thank you very much.

I have moved out of the house where Loren and I lived together, and I found a new place.

My biodiesel, Mercedes has broken down to a point where I could no longer afford to fix. Since the new teaching job was about to start, and I needed a reliable car to transport myself everyday, I gave up on fixing it and bought a new used car.

Therefore, the month of August and September were super busy. Looking for a new place to live, moving there, preparing to start the teaching job starting in September, looking for a new car, selling the Mercedes (despite of its condition, there were actually several interests, and it was sold for $500), signing up for a new land line and an internet access, signing up for a new cell phone, getting a new PO Box, and so on made my life busy.

Everything was new. A new house, a new job, a new car, a new cell phone, and a new life...

There were times when it was emotionally difficult, but like rain would make ground more solid, I gained a refreshingly new foundation to move on with my life. It was stressful when everything was happening at the same time, but I thought that it was a blessing because it was so symbolic. Now, I can take a breath and look back the past two months. I hope to update my blog more periodically. I appreciate all the people who have helped me along the way either knowing what were happening or not knowing.

Life is indeed beautiful despite of everything that could be difficult, and I cannot thank the source of life enough for letting me be alive.

Thank you.


(I took this photo at night by the seashore. The black sand and the white wave. Beautiful.)

(Japanese: 夜に波打ち際で撮った写真。黒い浜辺と白い波。きれい。)