in this most recent trip i didnt have that many insights or amazing discoveries (though that is not to say that i didnt have an excellent time). here is the exception:
hanamitsu san, the father of the japanese family i stayed with in Chiba (Tokyo) has only just started learning english. the family has a small plot of land nearby which has been passed down from the family. every weekend the father and his mother, an obachan whose back has that shape of one who has spent her life in the fields, go to the land to tend to the field which provides the family with all the fruit and vegetables that they need.
it was only on the last night, after we had shared a few cups of sake, that hanamitsu san really began to communicate in english with me. with a childlike innocence that grown men rarely show he said: “i am afraid that one day I will not be able to hear the skylarks sing when I go to the field”. whether this was a fear of the destruction of nature in the area, clearing the fields for more housing, or a fear of old age and death I was not quite certain. but it was a poignant statement that also made me feel sad and afraid that this might happen one day.