Happy New Year and a very warm, Thank You.

Bowing deeply to your elders, relatives and close friends, the Japanese New Year tradition begins with a customary saying.  Some of the words cannot be directly be translated word for word, it is a heart felt translation.

“Congratulations! The New Year has begun.  Thank you for all you did for me in the past year, please treat me favorably again this year, I am indebted to you.”  Akemashite, omedeto gozimasu.  Saku nen wa, iroiro osewa sama deshita. Kotoshi mo, dozo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

Then we eat traditional foods that have symbolic meanings.  Pounded sweet rice (Life) Lotus root (see the future) , fish eggs (family) , boiled root vegetables, sweet black beans (work hard and good fortune),  pickled vegetables ( health) , rolled seaweed (happiness).  We share the meal then move to the next home to make the same greeting and eat more.  This is done for three days until you have formally greeted everybody that deserves respect, commands humbleness on our part, and share the enjoyment of eating together and giving thanks.

The recent Paris terrorism aftermath put a damper on the new year.  It has left me very sad about the world and wonder if we really are thankful for every morning, even if we feel not so  peaceful, have dull routines, and experience minute annoyances.  I certainly do my share of complaining and I don’t always express heartfelt thanks.

Thank you, thanks, thanks much, thank you from the bottom of my heart, thx, ya thanks. It has a very off hand sound, doesn’t it?  We say our thanks for everything we receive, own, share, clean air, prayer, but nothing really brings those blase’ expressions closer to the conscious thought with meaning like tragedy and oppression in the world can.  I am deeply concerned by the inhumane acts of terrorism and cruel people.  I think of the tragedy, bloodshed, and ponder mankind’s future existence.

We are thankful that our sister is safe in Paris, as she was about a 1/4 kilometer away from the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.

Pray, meditate, legislate, rally for more peace in the world! Live each moment with sincerity and kindness to all. Thank You!

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