Happy Monday! It’s finally summer now. The temperature for this week is supposed to be stable at 32. We are going on a family exploration trip to East Canada next week. Thinking about the two-week getaway is exciting. It’s an adventure to me, to the kids and the family.
I learned that the tide at Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick is phenomenal and I couldn’t wait but to check it out on Youtube. While I watched the video, something hit me that happened two years ago. I visited my cousin in Japan two years ago. We joined a tour group to Hokkaido. It was a different experience from my other tours. The tour guide was a short man, Mr. Tanaga, probably in his fifties. He was more scholastic than entertaining. From time to time, he would say something that start a talk among the group. I was kind of enjoying the guide.
After a big tide ebbed, Mr. Tanaga guided us to the shore. There were already many people there picking up the fishes left on the beach. To our excitement, our group joined the picking. Some of us got salmon, and others got tuna. Pretty soon, my cousin and I collected a full bucket. After the work-out, everybody took a break and started to talk about how we were going to cook these fishes and made a big feast. Mr. Tanaga broke his silence, he said, “Do you think these fishes are the same as the ones on the table? They were not caught because of greediness.” I was puzzled and asked, “Aren’t they all fish? What is the difference?” Mr. Tanaga let out a sigh and said, “These fishes were left after the ebb. They are the ones in trouble. Do you still have the heart to eat them? Why not we let them out to the ocean?” The group looked at one another and realized that it would be a suffering for these distressed fish. What we could offer was to set them free into where they belonged to, which could be a good deed. So we started to dump the buckets, or bags of fishes into the sea. While we looked at them swimming away, I felt a different dynamic in our group. It was like everybody feeling relaxed and genuine happiness.
After the day trip, we were still talking about the happiness of letting go the fishes. Mr. Tanaga came to us, saying that one of his friends would close up his store tomorrow, and invite us to do some shopping before the closing-up. Well, liquidation meant good bargin, so we were delighted to go, esp. when we know the store had electronics, cosmetics, jewels and local specialties. When we got there, there were people lining up with full cart of products at the cashier. We couldn’t wait to jump into the spree. However, when we realized that very few products were on sale, our excitement ebbed. We each picked a few small stuff and checked out. Later when we saw Mr. Tanaga, he was holding two big bags of stuff with joy. One of the girls asked, “Why not these products on sale?” After a good few minutes, he answered, “These products are genuine. Why should they be sold cheaper?” “While, if they are of the same stuff as other stores, why you guys all shop there and buy so much?” Mr. Tanaga smiled and said slowly, “We all came to buy from the store, just to show the owner that he is good at the business side of it. He has been making a lot of efforts in the past years to run the business. Maybe pretty soon, he will be confident enough to open a new store somewhere more profitable.” Our jaws dropped. Wow, buying from a closing-up store doesn’t only mean to get some good bargain, but also to show comfort, encouragement, care and confidence to the owner.
The ebbing of the tides is when some fishes get into trouble. The closing-up of a store is when the owner meets with hardship. What can we do when we see others in an unfavorable situation? Are we gonna kick them downer, remain a stander-by or we can do something? By sending the unlucky fishes back into the water and buying more from a closing-up store, Mr. Tanaga demonstrated to us his kind and warm heart with his actions. We realize that it is at the time of the ebb, when no pretension is camouflaging, that we can figure out friends or foes. However, it is the fact whether we are the vulnerable fishes left by the tide, or the greedy fishes caught by lure, that differentiate our destination.
I am so looking forward to what the tides at Bay of Fundy will teach me. Happy vacation!
To your success!