To Ojiisan, Obaasan, and Chihiro-basan:
Chris-neesan had her good friend Brian-niisan over this weekend. Delighted to have someone to show around, she took us to a mangrove forest that covered the coastline. It was my first time at such a place. There were almost 70 hectares of mangroves stretching out to the city; the thought is simply mind-boggling. The forest loomed thick and tall around us but it was comforting, in a way. Maybe this comes from being a Mori, ne? ^^ ; (Forgive my silly jokes, Chihiro-basan; I know you're not laughing!)
It was a long walk through the forest as we made our way across a narrow foot bridge. We even crossed a river to get to where we wanted to go! You know that I normally do not shy away from hikes, but that foot bridge seemed too rickety to me that I stayed close to Chris-neesan.
I felt better when we reached the beach. Chris-neesan and Brian-niisan rented a small cottage where they could just talk and eat banh mi, some Vietnamese sandwiches they brought from home. It was quite windy that morning, which Chris-neesan seemed to love because it was so relaxing. She let her feet dangle from the cottage as she leaned out over the beach. She bid me do the same, gesturing towards a nearby tree. I had my fears, of course, but I still gave it a try.
Finally, when they had exhausted nearly every other topic of conversation known to man, they decided that it was time to head home. This time, I wasn't so dubious of the foot bridge and took a couple of tentative steps of my own. Somehow, Chris-neesan had goaded Brian-niisan into taking a few photos of me. There were definitely more photos of me than there were of the two of them!
Was I exhausted after that long walk? Not a bit! I suppose when I think of how important such a mangrove plantation is in protecting the coastline, I feel rejuvenated that there are still a lot of things that we can do. Itsukishima is not the only natural treasure I know!
Waiting for the world to change,