This seems like the season for fields trips, as I walked the streets of Kyoto I had seen many children in uniform walking about. Many of them calling out “hello” to me as I passed by. Some of the younger ones in their color coded hats created a ocean of color as they walk by, following their teacher with a flag raised high in the air. Many of these groups have professional photographers close by too, taking photo of the students during different landmarks of their trip, a schools paparazzi of saved memoirs.
In the rains visiting the Kiyomizu Temple, I was stopped by 3 groups of students from a school North of Toyko, they all had a school project and asked if they could talk to me. The first group huddled around trying to stay out of the rain and we stubble with pronouncing each others names. They started asking questions about where I was from, if it was my first time in Japan, what my favorite place was in Kyoto was and if they could have my autograph. It was a great little conversion as they tried speaking english, and where I try to speak Japanese. They left me with gifts of hand made cards that they created to help a visitor of Japan.
The next group that found me not far from the first group, their teacher approached me an ask if I had a moment to talk to his kids. They asked me the same groups of questions and when I autographed their book one of the kids let out a whoop. I guess they have never seen such a mess of a signature before. Their teacher was kind enough to help me through some of the events that happens when visiting a temple as he handed me incense and instructed me one how to light it and drop it into the ash.
The third group found me in a panic as I was about to leave. Their teachers foot steps came quickly from behind me saying one of my most used phrases “sumimasen”. He ask if I would talk to his kids and if they could take a photo with me. I happily agreed.
There are times when I struggle when I am traveling without my family. Those moments that I wish I was able to reach out and touch them, hug them and be there for them when they have a question or just to whisper good night and a kiss. I have often found that I just have to keep moving during these instantances or to give a call if I can.
Then there are those moments that help me get through these times when I am traveling. Talking and listening to these children at Kiyomizu Temple is one of these moments that reminds me of the joy of my family. The round table talks, processes of growing up and the school projects that the kids do not know how there are going to get done. No matter where you are in this world we are all that we are very similar, for the most part we all have the same desires to be loved and understood.
Happy Fathers Day to my love Lisa and the Kids, thank for teaching me how to be a father.
Thank you Lisa, my love of my life, for creating all the moments and lives of our children with me. I love you and miss you!
And kids I miss you and Love you! See you soon!