Glad to feel the sweet, fresh breeze


Tsunami survivor Isao Sato, a resident of Iwate Prefecture that was devastated by the March 11, 2011 disaster, wrote of his experience:


"From out of the blue, a huge tsunami came and washed away my home and all the material possessions I had worked for my whole life. But when I finally came to myself, I looked around and realized that I still had my family, and that this year, once again, the world was filled with the sweet, fresh breeze of early summer.”


「大海原から巨大な津波が襲いかかり、私が一生かかって築いた家と財産をそっくり奪い去りました。けれど気を取り直して見回せば、私にはまだ家族があり、初夏の気持ちのいい爽やかな風がまたやってきているのです」


Sato wrote this haiku:


身ひとつと (Mi hitotsu to) Bereft of belongings

なりて薫風 (narite kunpū) Yet blessed by the touch of the

ありしかな (arishi kana) Early summer breeze.

In this haiku we see a beautiful expression of how loss can give birth to gratitude for what remains. As if awakening from a bad dream, the poet feels the wonder of the breeze, bringing an awareness that he has survived the tragedy and is alive. Life goes on. Focusing on the beauty of the breeze is an act of courage that creates a new consciousness and will to live, overwhelming the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. This enduring faith in nature, despite the tragedies it brings, became a source of inspiration not only for the victims but for people everywhere in Japan who, like all humans, must exist in an uncertain world.

この俳句には、喪失という体験からも、残されたものへの感謝が生まれうることが美しく表現されています。非人は風の心地よさに、まるで悪夢から目覚めたかのように、惨事を乗り越え自分が今生きていることに気づくのです。それでもなお人生は続きます。素晴らしい風に気づきを向けるのは勇気あることです。そこから新たな気持ちと生きる意志が芽生え、失望と無力感を吹き払います。どんな災厄が起ころうとも変わらない自然に対する信頼が、犠牲者だけではなく、人類として不確定な世界に住む人達にインスピレーションを与えました。

Recent Posts
Heartfulness