Christmas Greetings from Tokyo, 2020

A favorite tree, Tokyo, Japan.

Christmas Greetings from Tokyo, 2020

By   |  Dec. 30, 2020

My Christmas greeting this year comes to you from Tokyo, Japan. Hope this note finds you well and staying healthy.

This year as I observed Winter Solstice a new insight came to me about a birth of a new star. It was happening in the Southwest sky, rather close to the horizon, just as the Sun was going down. A bright light appeared as a great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest planets, took place. This star, different from a fixed single Northern Star, invited me to take a look at today’s fragile and complex world and appreciate a different and fluid perspective on Christmas.

It was 9 months ago I returned to Tokyo in order to apply for a new Visa for the US. It has been a long journey, through four seasons here in Kichijoji house in Tokyo. It began with the excitement of cherry trees’ splendid welcome, through full green leaves’ display, an artistic dance by colorful leaves, and moved to letting go of all coverings.

All throughout, trees outside my window stood firm and accompanied me by extending and waving their branches and invited me to listen to the circular rhythm of life. Covid pandemic compounded physical restriction and buried my mobility far down. “Stay put where you are planted,” the trees reminded me.

Challenged by on-line connection with the Maryknoll Center in New York with over 14 hours’ time difference, my senses are being stretched and sharpened, tuning into new waves of communication beams. New senses of connection through expanded imagination beyond physicality are coming to birth. “Trust your intuition as it takes you out of your familiar logic and frees you from clocked time sequence,” remind me my trees.

This year once again we celebrate the Divine breaking through into human history, and honor the event when past and future become one in present, and where far and near interconnect in here and now.

May your New Year be refreshed with silent wind, through your deep breathing, so that you may appreciate where you are planted to listen deep within!

May the Blessings of a new star, born out of this conjunction, help us continue to journey deeper into the mystery of life.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sr. Teruko Ito, MM serves on the Maryknoll Sisters' Leadership Council and lives at the Maryknoll motherhouse in New York.