Wednesday, August 7, 2013



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     Bunsa was still very weak. Moriko took him out to the back yard, where the fresh air and the beauty of the forest could help him get better. She noticed that he was more irritable with her than usual, but didn't realize that it was not just the post-illness stress. For his sake, she tried to be more affectionate and cheerful, pouring all her love on him, like only the Japanese women can. Gradually, Bunsa put aside his fear and opened his heart to Moriko once more. The old man stayed with them for a few weeks, while the affected village still needed his help.
     On a balmy summer evening, the old man and Bunsa enjoyed a game of Shogi, the Japanese chess. The old man took it easy on Bunsa, he let him win a few matches in a row. He stood by the open door to the back yard, looking into the approaching dusk. He noticed something in the trees and exclaimed: "Oh!" Then suddenly his face changed, he became pale and had to sit down quickly. Moriko came in from one of her foraging trips with a bird that she snared in the forest and noticed that something was wrong. She ran up to him, asking about the reason for his distress, but he only gazed at her with the widely opened eyes. All night long, they heard him pacing in a tiny room where he lived. The old man went back to his town shortly after. He never explained to them, what shocked him that day. 
     A few months passed. Moriko and Bunsa became closer than ever. The life in the village was beginning to get back to normal, if you can call normal the pain in so many people's hearts for the loss of their loved ones: 
     "the gods of death have passed me over...autumn dusk"
     In the first month of a new winter, Moriko found out that she was pregnant again. What was she to do? She wanted this child more than anything else in her life, more even than life itself. But the memory of the previous pain urged her to fear the possibility of another loss. Bunsa, though reeling with joy, understood his wife's misgivings. He gently tried to allay her worry. Three crucial months passed without a problem. Moriko dared to hope again. She started to disappear in the woods like before, but now she came home radiant with health. 
     The baby was born in the autumn. He was big and hale, but a line of pale hair ran down his spine from the nape of the neck to a small bottom. After the initial shock, the father was told that it happens sometimes and that it doesn't portend a bad omen. The mother didn't let the boy off her arms. She nursed, changed and cooed to him, singing and talking to him all the time. Both parents were overjoyed by this little miracle that the gods granted them after so many trials. 
     "a baby boy cries for milk...glorious blossoms." 
     They called their child Kokuro - heart, spirit.

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