Dandelion Sunshine

It is certainly a strange world out there. And like so many others, I’ve been struggling.

But the other day, the sun was shining and warm, the sky was bright blue, and a breeze seemed to blow the sharp edge off my worries and fears.

I visited a local park with my kids, one that stays fairly empty and which has zero playground equipment. I sat and watched the waves, and squinted at the faint outline of Mt. Fuji in the distance to see whether it was actually the mountain I could see, or simply a memory of the mountain I’d etched out of the clouds.

Then the complaining started. The kids are lonely and bored. They miss their friends, most of whom are still seeing other friends. We’re the most self-isolating family I know in our area, and it has been hard on my older daughter in particular.

I try. I try not to lose my already stressed-out mind at the kids, but alas, I am not perfect, especially when I struggle. And so we went home in a partial huff.

On the way home, the toddler fell asleep in the stroller as her big sister ran ahead. When we got home, the older settled onto the couch, and I laced up my running shoes. For the first time in almost a month, I got out of the house alone, and got some exercise.

I went back to the same park, jogging along the oceanside walkway and up between the bluffs. I sprinted a few stairs. I jumped and stretched. I admired the view again, this time without complaints in the background. I found dandelions and marvelled at their brightness. And I felt good and happy and optimistic for the first time in weeks.

Moments like this are few and far between these days. I know brighter days await on the other side of the pandemic, but it’s hard to grasp hold of a time when it’s shrouded in mystery, when we don’t really know if this dark tunnel will be long or short.

So I take moments like these: I take the bright yellow dandelions. I take the purple phlox. I take sunny days. I take Mt. Fuji, even when I can’t see it soar into the sky. However faint, I know that the mountain is there. Just like I know this, too, shall pass. Even if the end is faint. Even if the end is not in sight at all.

Like I do with Mt. Fuji, I will look into the distance and see it there, even if it’s just a memory of good times etched in the clouds that shroud the future. It is there. I know it is. I just need to wait for the clouds to lift.

Published by helenkamakura

Helen is a Canadian writer and innkeeper based in Kamakura, Japan, where she lives with her Japanese husband and two children. If money became obsolete, she would happily accept peaches, fresh peas, and sun-warmed cherry tomatoes in exchange for her labour.

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