The wonderful name Kyomi belongs to a five year old typically English school girl - let me explain how I know about this child, and her family. A little over five years ago the adjacent fence at the rear of our garden was short enough to see the two families who live at the back of me. One I've known since I move here thirteen years ago - their names are Caroline, and John - he is a Professor in theology, and his wife teaches at a local school. The other family I knew nothing about until John explained Kyomi's parents were not English - her father was Japanese and her mother Italian. Before I made their acquaintance I thought they could be both Italian because I'd spoken to a grandfather when they moved in, and found out by talking to him he was Italian - he was knocking their back garden in to shape with one of those continental long handled forks before the higher fence had been built. The first time I knew Kyomi lived there was last year - every time she saw me she waved from a top bedroom window - it was on one of these occasions that I got worried as one of the windows was open. Ringing John not only solved the problem, but allowed me to find out their nationality. Apart from seeing Kyomi at the window either dancing, or waving I heard her when she was in the garden with her parents, and the one thing I found fascinating was how English she was - it was mum this, and dad that - like any English four year old. That was last year and as this year progressed her chatter become more intense. By the time the seedling dahlias - which run from the back of our bungalow to the back of Kyomi's fence had been flowering for over a month - I had a few fimbriated decorative seedlings - all brought about by Mr. Bumble visiting my medium semi-cactus fimbriated patch, and then on to the decorative area - I must move them further apart next year. One was bright yellow and full of sunshine, and it immediately made me think of young Kyomi - it also reminded me of Japan you see. The next time I heard John in the garden I hopped up on a box I had for the purpose, and told him about the fimbriated decorative, and my idea of naming it after our neighbours little girl. John told me next time he spoke to them he'd mention it. Imagine my surprise the following Sunday when an elegant dark haired man rang our door bell with his daughter Kyomi to look at her flower. I told him I'd open the back gate and show them - she was very excited as she made her way down to were it stood. "Can I pick it?" she said. Her father told her in no certain terms she couldn't, but I assured them that when they left I'd cut it so she could show her mother. Her father Naruo took a photograph of his daughter and the flower called Kyomi Sunshine with his mobile phone before they left .
A week or two passed and once more Naruo, and Kyomi were standing at the door - I asked them in, but Naruo said he'd only come round to give me a present for naming a flower after his daughter, and ask if my wife and I would come to one of their meetings. That started my mind buzzing - what type of meeting I thought? It turned out this family were Buddhist's - I'd heard they were very gentle people so I excepted his invitation for the following Thursday, but I told him although his house was only over the back from ours we couldn't walk round, but I'd ask one of my daughters to drop me off. That's when he told me he'd pick me up - all sorts of things went through my head as I saw them drive off. I'd never been to a Buddhist meeting before you see. When I opened the present they'd given me it was a box of Japanese biscuits - believe me they were delicious, and like no other I'd tasted.
Well as promised Naruo picked us up as arranged, and we met his wife and two other ladies - we were offered tea and a piece of cake and chatted like you do when meeting new people - then Naruo thought we should begin the meeting. Opening two doors on what could only de called a holy spot he gently struck a small bell within the enclosed area, and began chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo followed by many other phrases, and although I had a book to follow the proceedings I soon got lost. I found the experience up lifting especially as Kyomi was completely at home with the whole procedure, and sat between Irene and myself. When Naruo finished I felt like clapping, but curbed my enthusiasm. We talked for a while in which time Naruo gave me a pocket book called the Liturgy of Nichiren Buddhism, and also a larger book by a fellow called Richard Causton which was called The Buddha in Daily Life on the cover it stressed it was an introduction to the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin. One of the ladies decided it was time to leave so I thought it was an opportunity to lake our leave to. Naruo helped us into the car and we were in doors before we knew it. As I helped Irene undress all I could think of was how completely calming it all was. During the next couple of days my attention was taken up with this new found faith - each time I read a passage from the new book I was enlightened - it wasn't as if I was taken over by its content, but the more I read the more I realised I already knew most of what the book was telling me - to put it in modern terms it ticked all the boxes on what I already knew of life. Most of my reading were snatched moments when I wasn't dealing with the what dementia throws at you. I'm sure I'll have to read it over and over again to absorb its contents, but there wasn't one thing in my life that it didn't cover, and it was all spelt out so simply - we make what our lives become - not only that we also make what becomes of others lives.
A Kyomi creation. Kyomi Sunshine.
On Sunday the twenty third of October I was rushing to get ready before our Mick picked us up to go to our eldest daughters place for a Sunday roast - just as I was about to put on my shirt the door bell rang, and who should it be but Kyomi, and he dad - Naruo explained Kyomi had made me a present - I asked him in, but he said he could see I was busy getting ready, and he wouldn't stay - my one regret was he'd come at that precise moment - I'd have given him a bunch of flowers if I'd had the time. I did manage to photograph her creation when they left, and I imagine she'd made it from various things she'd found in her garden, and I told them she would either be a florist, or a designer. A couple of days past and I emailed Naruo to find out if I could put the photograph he'd taken on the first day they'd seen her flower on this page - but after I'd received it via an attachment I checked with Naruo if he realised it would be seen by the world - we both suggested it would be better not to use it, but I assure you it was a lovely photograph - pity the world is like it is. Oh well this is Kyomi's page almost done - I hope she likes it - all I have to do is to let her father check what I've written. I'm pleased to say Kyomi and her parents came round to our bungalow a little later, and I was able to correct a couple of minor spelling mistakes so I can publish her page on the world wide web.