A Look Back

Some days I go back and re-read what I wrote on this blog. Unbelievably, there are posts I don’t remember writing when I go back far enough. As the snow falls here in Salt Lake, I found this post from 2007 and had to repost.


As I sit in my office on the 32nd floor and look out at the snow that has begun to fall over Manhattan I remember back to a train ride I had over seven years ago. It was February of 2000, Y2K had proven to be no big deal and I was in the mountains of Japan. I was living near The Japan Sea at the time and was requested to move from the city I was in, Fukuchiyama, to Toyooka, a smaller city farther north and in a different prefecture. The night before the move we heard from friends, who knew how clueless we were to the local news, that there was a large snow storm predicted to roll in that night. The weathermen did not disappoint. I woke up early to several feet of snow, and it was still coming down hard.

Having already shipped most of my supplies, I carried what remaining items I had down the isolated snowy streets to the train station and took the train to my new temporary home in Toyooka. The ride was beautiful as I watched the sunrise over the mountains and the snow blanketing the rice fields and small villages along the way. In many ways, rural Japan is a beautiful place. I remember listening to the soundtrack of Mononoke Hime, one of Japan’s blockbuster animation films of the last decade. I felt peaceful and happy. Now, as I struggle sometimes to find the necessary hours in each day to complete what must be done, I think back to a time when, like today, I was watching the snow fall, and I am at peace.