Nine: Why I'm Called
After sending my parents photos of our half hour visit to the water, I heard from my mother.
話を聞きながら 頭に思い浮かべていた 海を
" Onjuku, in Chiba! Yes!
I remember hearing stories about this place. From your Grandfather.
... in the years after the war, in a very difficult year-your Grandfather's father had been helped by someone. A client with whom he had some business.
I remember him telling me that he'd had natto for the first time, at his inn. You know how it's not really common to our area. That's how he'd gotten into it. Oh, so many stories.
This sea- this water. I'd painted it in my mind listening to his stories. I would sometimes visit it- that picture. This ocean- this water. I've gotten to see it now. Thank you for sharing it with me."
I'd always thought that the wide, open water was what gave me what I needed, when I sought solace. That it was the reason I somehow felt pulled to visit this place, whenever I needed to confirm that I was alive. Here, I felt restored and able to confirm things. But there are kilometers and kilometers of coastline in Chiba. It didn't have to be here- this spot. This village.
And now I know. I'd been called. Called to a place of solace. Called to a place that had given solace, unbeknownst to me, in a time before my own.