I have to admit; before we came to Iwakuni, I was afraid that we were moving to a drab, smog-filled, cold, foreign city. I was basing my visions of this little seaside town upon rumors that a terrible stench floated down from the mountains every Thursday due to the Japanese cremations (Ha!). As we boarded our plane to Japan, I was hesitant to even step over the threshold into the plane. I was scared I would never see the light of day again, and I was going to be living in a boring, depressing town. Boy was I wrong.
I have instead found that Iwakuni is surrounded by water. So much water. This was such a blessing to find out, because - as most of you know - it is hard for me to go too long without the sea. So as we flew into Iwakuni only 3 months ago I felt a warm wave of peace and comfort rush over me as I looked out the window over the mountains..... and miles and miles of ocean down below me. I can't describe how good that felt.
So last Saturday, we all loaded up our little beach-mobile, and headed to the beach. This time it was 2 hours away to a little island village called Kamenoseki. The beaches here are beautiful and untamed. I can't seem to get over their simple beauty...it takes my breath away. Every. Single. Time.
We packed a little lunch of onigiri, fruit, veggies, and pizza, and we were on our way.
I think we stayed for 6 hours. We are hard-core beach bums, I tell you. It's ridiculous; but I couldn't love it more:) It was cold; we were all in sweatshirts and jeans. But it was so worth it.
So we bundled up, watched the waves crash the shore, and took a deep reviving breath of sea air. It was so good. To smell the salt air - this is a joy I could never tire of, be it in the winter or summer.
Did I mention we were babysitting for some friends? But it was not a problem. We just stuck the little man in the back seat with the boys, and it was like he was a part of the family. I love watching little kids play on the beach. In today's society, it's so refreshing to watch children play with nothing but nature to entertain them.
We also managed to meet a cute little Japanese family! They were picnicking as well, and we hung out with them for a while! They were adorable!!! And even though we couldn't quite understand each other completely, we found a way to be friends anyways.
I think I have an obsession with little Japanese babies. They are probably some of the sweetest, most cute looking kids ever! かわいい!!!
*I promise, I'm not a creeper
So we spent a Saturday at the beach...in November. We may or may not have slightly frozen half to death, but it was completely worth it. It was worth it simply for the sound of waves crashing on the shore and the smell of the salt breeze. It keeps me sane.
It's moments like these. Moments when you draw in the sand like a little kid, and it's OK. Moments when you look out at the mountains, and they take your breath away. Moments when you meet a family of a completely different race and background and let the culture/language barrier completely fall. Moments when you simply meet another human being with a kind heart...and it doesn't matter that you don't understand what they're saying, or even that they understand what you're trying so desperately to say because you're both having so much fun together. Words don't matter in moments like these.
It's moments when I look at the miles and miles of ocean that I'm surrounded by, and I'm thankful that even in the midst of such newness, He has provided me with the familiarity of the ocean.
Ir's moments like these that I look around me, and I'm so very thankful:)