People plan and God laughs
The plum blossoms are blooming, and their pink and red flowers inspire while I pedal up and down hills near our suburban Kawasaki neighborhood.
The rare warm February weather encourages reminiscences of spring days in the past and stimulates flashbacks to fond memories from about 13-years ago.
The first time I met my daughter was a day like today, with temperatures requiring little more than a light sweater when sitting in the shade.
I traveled to Meguro Station in Tokyo and rendezvoused with my fiancé, who I spotted quickly standing on the sidewalk. She looked stunning in a knee-length dress and sun hat while holding her daughter's hand while scanning the road for my car.
We traveled for about an hour to a recreation facility called Tama Hills to join an Easter event. The tiny five-year-old girl remained quiet while sitting in the back seat with her face, so like her mother’s, covered by the large bill of a baseball cap while she read a picture book.
We arrived at Tama Hills and found a picnic table, and I excused myself and left the ladies to get some refreshments. On my way back, I was met halfway by my guest, and we had our first conversation.
"Where do you get the cabbage to feed the rabbits?" she asked.
I took her hand and said, "Let's see." The two of us spent the next hour feeding rabbits, goats, piglets, and a donkey. Who could ask for a better start?
The event was well planned, and in addition to the petting zoo, it featured egg hunts, bouncy castles, music, children’s crafts, and picnic foods.
Later we went inside for a sumptuous Easter buffet dinner, but the best part of my day was watching the young girl thoroughly enjoy feeding and petting the animals.
It’s humbling when we reflect upon the moments in our lives when happiness is a truism and surprise ourselves by the simple vehicle which brought us to the elusive state of mind.
We can plan for the future, but the most well-conceived personal road maps often dissolve like a sandcastle washed over by the evening tide.
One visit to an oncologist to receive laboratory test results can knock down the most solidly grounded personality.
Who sees it coming?
We’ve traveled down this road before and have looked the big "C" in its carnivorous eyes.
My friend from Israel shared an expression: "man plans, and God laughs."
The little girl who fed the goats has grown up, and she recently asked me, "what do you think about God's sense of humor?"