Earlier today I stumbled across the photograph below of a Japanese grandma with her pooch perched on her back. The photo was taken by her granddaughter for a photography book titled Miyoko Ihara: Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat.
This photograph along with some of the others reminded me of summers spent as a young child with Nenen in Montserrat. She worked the land which was backbreaking but she was cheerful through it all. She loved the outdoors and really relished the opportunity to make her living that way. However, she wanted us to better ourselves and so drilled in us the importance of getting a good education so that we could be successful and always have soft hand. For her that meant finishing university and getting a good corporate job.
And having achieved what she wanted, I long for the simplicity of her life. Sure it was difficult, but it was an honest living; free of the complications that come from working in a large organisation or even owning a business in the US or UK. So I think about this and wonder what it would be like to take a sabbatical from the rat race. You know, spent a year with Nenen in her old age helping her out and just generally soaking up her wisdom. No, she’s not working the land anymore but at her house perched on a hill with a magnificent view of the ocean, she’s surrounded by about twenty cats all of whom she lavishes a great deal of attention on. I smile just thinking about her and them. So beautiful, just like this Japanese grandmother and her adorable two colour eyed kitty.