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From The Editor

2009
ISSUE
31
From The Editor

As I write, typhoon No. 18 has just torn a path through the center of Japan. Here in Chigasaki, we avoided the brunt of the storm, but the coastline still took a good hit. The beach was torn up, a massive tetrapod was pushed up on the shore, most of the bamboo fences along the beach were shredded, and the bike paths were buried under sand.

People always mention the calm before the storm, but the beautiful weather after a typhoon can be unsettling as well, as if to give us a clear look at the aftermath. The storm passed late in the afternoon, leaving a blue sky streaked with clouds and a clear view of Mt. Fuji unobstructed by air dirtied by humans or humidity.

I was one of many who ventured down to the ocean to see what havoc the storm had wreaked on our neighborhood beaches. It seemed as if half the community was mulling around; fisherman checking their beach shacks, runners and cyclists lamenting the sand through which they would have to run, and everyone was contemplating the work ahead.

A few days later, along the same stretch, a baby turtle was trying to make it across the bike path toward the sea. I immediately thought of our High Tide columnist Mitsuharu Kume (Page xxx) and his affection for sea turtles. I also thought back to morning dives in Saipan swimming alongside these beautiful creatures.

We decided to take her down near the shore and placing her on the sand above the tide line. We stood there for a while, keeping guard against rogue hawks, crows or curious dogs, to see if she was really headed for the water. Sure enough, after a brief moment getting acclimated, she scurried straight for the oncoming tide. She was tossed back repeatedly but each time gathered herself and kept on trying.

The typhoon and the turtle are reminders that life is a precious gift, but it is also often about struggle. Sometimes against forces of nature, sometimes with other things in our lives. In the end, we scooped up her up and placed her in the ocean beyond the breaking waves, because it’s also good to remember sometimes we need a helping hand.