Saturday, November 19, 2011

My 29th Birthday 29歳の誕生日

On October 27th, I welcomed my 29th birthday.

As I do every year, I drove myself up to the top of Haleakala (Maui's massive shield volcano; its tallest peak is at 10,023 feet (3,055 m)) to have my birthday ritual.

After I was done with my teaching job, I came home, packed layers of clothes with a pair of boots and made my favorite hot beverage (Bancha) with pickled ume plums and a few drops of soy souse in it. I also took my favorite chip - Rich Chips with me. 

The picture above was the sunset I saw as I drove up. 





By the time I got on the top, the sun was completely down over the horizon, and it was quite dark since it was only a day or two after the new moon, but stars were bright! I stayed in the car and had my Bancha and chips! Yum, yum, yum.  Look at the photo of Rice Chips being inflated by the high altitude :) 

I was born at 3:12 pm Japan time, so I like to be sitting at the top of Haleakala at 8:12 pm Hawaii time (to be the same time as 3:12). I started to hike up the little hill around 7:30 pm. It takes less than 10 minutes to be at the top. There was just me. No one else. I found a cozy spot to sit, and I lit a candle. It amazingly kept being lit despite of the wind. 



I sat there on the edge of the enormous crater. Vast space was opening its mouth wide open. I felt like letting myself be engulfed - like falling into the arms of the Universe. And I did in my imagination. And I was received. I was hugged and loved with every bit of my existence. And I knew that this space would be always available regardless of place and time. I do not know what the future holds for me, but what I know is that I will be always all right because of this knowledge. 

I sat there for an hour - thanking of all the people in my life (I know it is simply impossible because I've met so many people, and there are so many more people who have supported and enriched my life without me even knowing it, but I tried to think of those who are near and dear to me). Tears kept welling up almost the entire hour just because I felt so much gratitude in my heart. I was blown up just like the bag of chips. I could barely contain my appreciation for love I was receiving from all sources.

I love my life.

When I came home, I felt like I wanted to write a happy birthday card to myself, so I did.
"Happy Birthday to you, Akari!
Well, well, well. You are 29 years old! Getting older.
Definitely not a little child anymore.
But you are my little Akari whom I adore forever as well as a big sister I always look up to.
You are my best friend.
With you, I have nothing to fear.
I am so happy and grateful that we get to experience this life together.
With you, we can turn anything into a super fun journey. 
I am here to fully support you with whatever path you choose in your life.
I am loving you with all my heart.

What a gift to have her in my life!






1 comment:

Emi Azeka said...

Dear Akari,
You inspire me beyond words! I am so privileged to know someone so young with such a deep wisdom. You are one of my greatest teachers and I celebrate your 29th year, the best year of your life(unit your 30th)!