Thanksgiving — 23 November 2017
A Thanksgiving reflection by: Hiroshima survivor Takashi “Thomas” Tanemori
Turning my face to Heaven
I sense rather than see
the endless blue.
Beyond the dancing leaves and soaring hawk,
its immeasurable stillness
reflects the wonder of all Creation.
Morning dew glittering in the dawn,
like precious jewels;
and twinkling stars echoing in the silent night,
like the songs of angels,
We gather the fruits of the earth,
till the barn is overflowing with bounty.
My heart fills with countless blessings:
food, shelter, clothing and friends to be encircled.
Looking back, I see how
my stumbling steps have become a path
and how, on this lonely road,
I have never been alone.
The kindness of many has been
like a spring rain,
bringing new life to my heart,
as a “Blade of Grass” ever emerging
from the ashes of the Past,
I stand, Amazed at my blessings,
grateful for His Wonders!
On August 6th, 1945, Takashi, then eight years old, was less than one mile from ground zero when the atomic bomb exploded, ultimately claiming his parents and two siblings.
Orphaned, Takashi was rejected in his homeland, surviving as a ‘street urchin’, until immigrating to the United States. There, Takashi worked in California’s ‘salad bowl’, and later became a captive patient in the state’s psychiatric system. A nurse cared for him, became his guardian, and inspired the young man to serve others.
He set a lifetime goal of helping future generations live in peace, with harmony and equality.
In 2005, sixty years after the bombing of Hiroshima, Takashi returned to his childhood home to reflect on his life’s path in light of what history has taught us, and most importantly, to reconcile after six-decades with his older sister. He wrote this poem on Thanksgiving 2006…
Takashi Tanemori is founder of the nonprofit Silkworm Peace Institute, dedicated to international peace. He continues to promote forgiveness and peace.