I was 10 years old when I first visited Japan. As I rode a local train passing by the meager, quiet off-roads of suburban Japan, I felt a sense of contentment like never before. How quiet and quaint the neighborhood was as the train slowly rumbled through. The sky was shrouded in thick clouds creating a perfect postcard image framed by the window. It was a stark contrast from the Shinkansen — the world’s fastest train — as my little brother and I admired the countryside, encircled by flashing waters. Only an elderly couple in the same carriage as us.
The old lady fumbled with her hands, seemingly occupied with a piece of square paper. I only took notice of her when she reached towards us, hands outstretched with two little paper cranes. I took one crane into my hands, admiring the perfect crisp edges of talent. To my little brother, she held out another crane and, pulling on the tail, moved its wings. Despite the language barrier, a display of gentleness expertly wrapped in origami paper, and given away through a simple but profound gesture was demonstrated through this gift. As it so often is, there are many great journeys in life, but the greatest is that of contentment; being able to embrace the way things are in moments that seem like a gift. Gifts like the one created from the old lady’s hands may show how life is brief, transitory, and worth clinging on to because of it, but it is also an extraordinary reminder of solace in a discordant world.
Editors: Chris F., Marie H.
Image Source: Unsplash