Saya wants to light fireworks and make s'mores around a campfire tonight. It's the simple stuff that makes life good, and my 9-year-old daughter is a walking reminder to celebrate the present moment.
It rained throughout our ride 2 days ago, and I got lost a couple times trying to follow the complicated route. My back was aching, I felt stress from getting lost, and I wasn't in the greatest of moods. Saya, however, loved the rain. She enthusiastically pointed out soaring white cranes and tiny beautiful flowers, and told me endless jokes that helped pull me out of my funk.
Yesterday, as I was trying to keep from getting lost again, we met Kinpara-san, a cyclist on a carbon fiber racing bike. We chatted briefly at a stop light, then he zoomed ahead. Five minutes later, he returned and offered to guide us. I happily accepted, and we spent the afternoon riding with him. He grew up in the area and knew the back roads intimately. We cycled past rice paddies and farms, through small towns and finally down to the coast where he dropped us off in Hamamatsu. He offered to guide us again on our return. I felt lucky and honored. Thank you, Kinpara-san, for taking good care of us.
Here are some pics:
Saya ready for the rain
Taking a break to enjoy the view
Saya and Kinpara-san
Cycling behind Kinpara-san on the way to Hamamatsu
Saya and I at Hamamatsu Castle