Yuriage: Touching the Universe Locally
Even though I wrote to you yesterday, I would like to share another experience that commemorated the March 11, 2011 disaster. Kindly forgive me as I send you this letter of news and reflection, so close on the heels of the other.
Natori is a rural town near Sendai. One area of it lies near the sea and is called Yuriage. It is famous for its Sunday market, abundant with fresh vegetables from nearby farms and locally caught seafood. Yuriage was completely swept away in the 2011 tsunami. Even though there are many more years of reconstruction ahead, things are moving forward. In fact, one could say that this small town is making a strong comeback. Local agriculture and fishing are rebounding, so the Sunday market is in operation once again.
I am rooted and deeply connected to Tohoku Japan. I have lived here long and have experienced profound beauty and tragedy in this region. And precisely because of my commitment to this one area, I am able to reach beyond it. I feel myself called upon to widen my concerns, joys, and love to embrace the entire earth and to honor the humanness of each person on it. Tragedy and suffering are everywhere. But so is the dynamic of hope, care, rebuilding, and the opportunity for us humans to evolve, thanks to every error and positive contribution we make.
The lights of the world weave their way along the routes of what transforms us. These lanterns, lit specifically for Tohoku, seem to point beyond this region and to symbolize each and every one of us worldwide. The work of transforming humanity is tremendous. But our lights make one path, albeit long and circuitous. Our work must be together, or not at all.