Back in December of 2016, months before knowing the itinerary for this trip, I learned about the Japanese Buddhist goddess, Benzaiten. She is one of three female deities honored at the temple island of Chikubushima, and my personal favorite.
Benzaiten is the bestower of language and letters, a water goddess, a goddess of good wealth and fortune, and a patroness of music, poetry, learning, and art and everything that “flows.” How could I not love her?
So that day back in late December she become the background photo of my phone and personal “kami,” especially for the year 2017- The year I planned to learn Japanese, muster up the courage to take to go to Japan, and dedicate more time to writing, art, and music and finding my life’s “flow.”
The itinerary for the Goodwill Mission to Japan came sometime in June. Naturally, I sat at my desk and bawled like a baby as I read through the amazing things planned- a sake brewery tour and taste testing, temple and shrine visits, a ninja house, etc. So incredible!!!
By the time I got to the last day of the itinerary, tears blurred all the words into a puddle of letters. Afer gaining enough composure to read clearly again, my eyes were once again burning and buried in tears at what I saw:
I never thought incredible things like this could happen to me. And I believe they can happen to anyone if you learn to be a little less afraid and a little more curious.
“Pay attention to the things you are naturally drawn to. They are often connected to your path, passion, and purpose in life. Have the courage to follow them.” ~Ruben Chavez