Rev. Katsu’s Weekly Message (4/13/20)

I hope you are all doing well. It  feels like it has been a long time since we have been staying home.. Please be safe and healthy until this situation gets better.

Today, I would like to share one event in my family’s daily life. After the “Stay home and stay safe” order was given by Governor Inslee, we, of course spend most of our time at home. Because of that, my wife Ayano has been cooking more than usual. I really enjoy and appreciate  her homemade dishes. Last week,  Ayano cooked asari (manila clams) for dinner. My son and I really enjoyed it, but she had a sad facial expression. She said “This is going to be the last time to service this asari clam dish. I felt bad and regretful. After I bought asari clam from the store, I put them in the salt water to have them spit out sand to clean themselves. I saw their heads and faces moving. They were living. And today, I cooked them. I took their lives. I cannot do this anymore.”

I really understand how she felt. When I go to a restaurant and order a clam dish, I just enjoy eating it. I don’t feel sadness or remorsefulness. When eating out, I must understand that someone else takes their lives and cook them for me. Before the meals, we say “Itadakimasu”. Itadakimasu contains our appreciation as well as our remorsefulness. This experience reminds me of meaning of “Itadakimasu”.  It is important to be mindful of how my life is sustained.

During this time of “staying home, staying safe”, please eat well to keep your body nourished and healthy. Please be mindful of how lives of animals, fish and vegetables keep us sustained and nourished in order to live. In appreciation of all life, please remember to say “Itadakimasu” before each  meal.

Rev. Katsu

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