It was just after lunch time. I was sitting in the hollow of the sheltered triangular tiny garden for a short while when I saw them at their back.
They were with the three of them. One man carrying a rucksack on his back and two women. We exchanged a few words and then the man asked me if I recognized them… I felt somewhat embarrassed because at first glance I did not. However, it was while I was thinking my head off that I saw one of the women pointing at the shawl she was wearing. ”Sure, and welcome back”, I said. Memories of last year came back to me. At that time it was a warm and sunny afternoon in July and the four of us were having tea together in Tigh Cháit. It was here too that this very shawl was bought and taken to somewhere in Japan!
It has been a long tradition already that people come all the way from Japan to the Islands of Aran. Initially it was the knitting, I suppose, what made these people coming up. The intriguing way of putting the various stitches into a pattern as done by the women of these islands, was probably one of the main reasons for a lot of Japanese to come and find out more about this craft by taking lessons on knitting by women on these islands.
However, this time, as it was last year as well, I heard, these three young people came to the Isles of Aran with another purpose as they told me now. Two of them are actual cousins and were asked by their granddad (aged 87) to fulfill here his mission: bringing back forestry to the land and to the people in order to restore balance in nature.
That same evening seven little seedlings of the conifer were planted in the churchyard of Inis Meáin. The mutual connectedness is expressed in the writing on the box “Japmaan”.
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.