Saturday, April 23, 2011

Remember Japan

Relegated to small items on the back pages of newspapers, Japan’s story has not ended.

None of the people I know personally have been killed or threatened by the tsunami, aftershocks or nuclear radiation.

Still. So many lost so much – more than I can imagine losing. On this day before Easter, I can only wish that their lives would be resurrected.

About 10 days ago, I tore out an NY Times article about several former residents of Minamisoma, Japan who came back to say good-bye. It was one month after the initial devastation.

“Those who came out last week despite the [radiation] warnings seem to share the spirit of quiet defiance shown by many people in northern Japan, who have borne with stoicism and dignity the sorrows of nearly 30,000 people dead or missing. They said they wanted to get on with the process of healing, despite the risks.”

One woman left a letter for two of her young students who died.

She placed the letter on the concrete foundation, pinning it with a piece of broken cinderblock against the wind. She and her husband…pressed their palms together in silent prayer.

Suddenly, a bird’s chirping broke the hush of the barren landscape.

“It’s strange how the seasons continue, as if none of this ever happened,’ Toshie Nagasawa said, ‘Spring comes back but these little lives never will.”

But she will remember. And we need to remember her and all the others moving through debris and sorrow into whatever remains.

Happy Easter.

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