The Ritual

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I think it was when Mi-chan was three or four months old. She and I started a “ritual” every evening.

The ritual is called “Yuusuzu Mi-chan” – “Yuusuzumi” means going outdoors in the summer evening and enjoy the cool air after a hot day. For ten to twenty minutes between dinner and Mi-chan’s bath, I hold her and bring her to the balcony to show her the evening sky and mountains and sing her songs.

I usually come back from work around 7pm, and finish dinner around 8. It is my role to bathe her in a baby tub set up at the kitchen, but the kitchen is busy until my wife finishes the dishes, hence it is the time for “Yuusuzu Mi-chan.”

Until about a month ago, we saw the sunset, and saw the San Gabriel Mountains painted in pink. These days, we find the bright star in the western sky after the sunset, and tell her that it is Venus. We see the lone light of the Mt. Wilson observatory at the black mountain peak, and see the light of the vehicles passing on the Colorado Blouvard. I love watching Mi-chan’s eyes. I can see the sunset or street lights in her beautiful eyes that are as shiny as black pearls. I wonder how this world looks like in her mind.

Mi-chan is very interested in the world she was born to just a while ago. In my arm, she is busy looking up, down, to the right, and to the left, with her wide-open curious eyes. She likes the sky. She likes trees. She likes lights. She likes cars. She likes people. When she is busy looking at things, I kiss her marshmallow-soft cheek. Sometimes I turn back and wave her hand to her mother through the kitchen window. Her mother smiles gently and waves her hand back to Mi-chan.

Then I sing her songs. She likes songs. I am happy that I’ve got the first and the only fan. Most of my choices are from old popular songs, such as:

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, 
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.


On the day that you were born the angels got together, 
And decided to create a dream come true.

And of course:

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow, 
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know.

Yes, she will live the future that I will not be able to see. And she will learn the secrets of the world that I will never know. She will learn the name of stars that I will never know. She will sing songs that I will never hear. She will walk on the roads that I will never see. In her times, mankind would know which of the millions of stars in the night sky host life. In her times, by making a bit of effort to save extra money, everyone would be able to go to a vacation trip to Moon or Mars. And in her times, perhaps, mankind would at last discover the very simple secret about how to stop killing each other and bring peace and happiness to all the children in the world. I am a bit envious of Mi-chan.

I often ponder what she will become. My favorite guess is a scientist. She was very curious about the world since her birth. If she can maintain the curiosity she will surely be a great scientist. Or she could be a musician. She likes songs. Although she is still off pitch, she tries to sing with me by making sounds like aaaaaah. And I remember that her cry right after her birth was the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard in my life.

I know that “Yuusuzu Mi-chan” will not last forever. That is why I feel happier than ever when I see the sunset and sing songs together with her.

One day, I thought, I will look back the days when I would do the happy ritual every evening on the balcony of this apartment. The sun set again today, leaving behind the beautiful pink sky, followed by Venus.



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