City Surprises

Making my way through the nonsense that is the Shibuya Crossing on a holiday afternoon, I am feeling almost desperate to be on a train home.  There are just so many people in my way, with no respect for my desire to be not here. Not that I actually expect them to know I want not to be here – I am merely noting their ignorance to the matter.  I am almost to the station, when a small but clear opening appears right ahead of me in the shuffling crowd.

I hardly have to think – in fact, I think I know what it is without thinking – to recognize the colorful lettering on the page of that folded-open notebook being held just above people’s heads.

FREE HUGS

I hesitate a moment, verifying that the holder of the sign is respectable/huggable.  Despite my being in Japan, I accept that this young Japanese guy is holding the sign, and trust that he knows what it means.  Perhaps especially because I am in Japan, actually.  

He’s young and Japanese, and he looks trustworthy.  I throw open my arms, and instantly see his face light up, as he says an adorable “Sahn kyuu!” (How the average Japanese pronunciation goes for ‘Thank you.’)  We embrace, and it is solid and long and wonderfully perfect.  I return the verbal thanks, with emphasis on thanking him for the hug (as opposed to his thanking my willingness or whatever on my end), give a gloriously contended smile, and go on my merry way the last few yards to the station.

I savor the experience, and especially the loving hug, as I wander goofily through the crowds up to the tracks.  Thank you, God.  You gave me just what I needed in order to feel I was heading the right way just now.  I am in the right place right now, and it is perfect.  Thank you.

Post-a-day 2017

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