Prayers and Thoughts for Japan
It is hard to believe that it’s been a year since the terrible tsunami disaster took so many lives, so many houses, so many natural resources and so much happiness away from people …. As I watched Japanese news that followed the survivors a year after the tsunami disaster, all I learned is that not much change has happened. Since the government is too slow to support the lives of survivors, communities have unified to support each other through the help of volunteer workers instead. For example, volunteer workers deliver supplies to seniors so that they are not isolated. In addition, affected communities have received donations from all over Japan through various volunteer works and charity concerts to rebuild the once lost businesses in downtown. New spaces were also created for people to gather, who otherwise would have been left lonely after having moved into temporary houses away from familiar surroundings and neighbours. Some people had to move from their hometowns to find jobs to help rebuild their families’ lives, others are still waiting for what they once had to be rebuilt. These examples are only the tip of the iceberg with respect to what that I learned in the short news program.
Although I wasn’t raised there, I cannot help feeling emotional when I reflect upon this catastrophic event, as I was born along the coast in Fukushima, and still have memories of visiting my mother’s parents when I was really small. I have never forgotten what happened this day last year, but I wanted to take time especially today to send a prayer to those who suffered through this unprecedented disaster. As everything became silent at 2:46 pm, March 11, 2012, I joined for a long minute.
When I called my father yesterday, he expressed concern regarding a news report that there will be an earthquake directly under the Tokyo area very soon. In fact, there have been small earthquakes there almost every day lately. I didn’t know what to say to him. Knowing what might happen, I feel like I’m just waiting to see it all from far away without being able to do anything for my family, my relatives and friends. The conversation really made me realize how fortunate we are to live a normal everyday life here in Canada. Things like having loved ones, clean air to breathe, our own shelter, heat, clean water, warm food, clothes… clean soil to grow food… all of these are things that we may take for granted if we don’t pay attention. I want to remember this as long as I live and appreciate all the little things around me.