Hachiko Shows the Meaning of Loyalty and Friendship

Loyalty is the foundation that makes friendships endure. It’s the difference between ordinary friends and true friends.

Dogs are called “man’s best friend” because they can show unparalleled loyalty.

One of the most famous stories of loyalty is that of Hachiko, an Akita dog whose owner was a professor at the University of Tokyo. Each morning they would walk together to Shibuya train station for the professor’s commute, and at the end of the day Hachiko would wait at the station for his return. Until one day the owner did not show up for he had a stroke while giving a lecture. For ten years — rain, shine, or snow — Hachiko would wait at the station every afternoon until his own death in 1935. This happened long ago and still the story is being told, including a movie with Richard Gere in 2009.

Hachiko became famous as a symbol of loyalty in Japan that a bronze statue was erected at Shibuya station in 1934, unveiled with Hachiko present!

Hachiko is still waiting after all these years.

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His statue is now a popular landmark in Tokyo and a favorite meeting place among young Japanese friends.

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“If you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
– Muhammad Ali

Let me hasten to add, if you haven’t learned the meaning of loyalty, you really haven’t learned the meaning of friendship.

“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.”
– Irish proverb

True friends are rare because loyalty is rare. Treasure them, and be one.
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Friend

Movies In My Mind

I make movies in my mind, or sometimes they write themselves in my sleep.

In one movie I see you smiling, coming into the bedroom as I wake up. I tell you about some plans for the day and you laugh. You pick up a towel and glance at me as you step into the shower.

In another movie you gaze into the distance as I rest my head on your shoulder, your arm around me, both of us not speaking a word. I think about the future while wondering if you were thinking about it too.

And then the light hits my eyes and the movies begin to fade.

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I choose to linger in the fog, to make the movies keep playing, because then the world looks like a garden in the mist. Because then distance and time disappear.

Because then you are closer to me.
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Evanescent
Reprieve

Remnant of York Castle from the Time of the Vikings

York Castle was built on the orders of William I to dominate the Viking city of York in Northern England in the year 1068.

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Clifford’s Tower, the keep (strongest and most secure part) of the castle, survives to this day and is one of the most distinguishable landmarks of the city.

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It has gone through a tumultuous history involving massacres, fires, explosions and wars.

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It has been used as an office, an armory, a prison, and even a cattle shed over the centuries.

The tower has a commanding view of the city, perhaps only matched by the more famous York Minster in the distance.

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Going down the spiral staircase, one is reminded of how lonely it must have been for the guardsmen as they kept watch over Clifford’s Tower.

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“Human says time goes by –
Time says human goes by.”
― Anonymous

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Heritage
Not quite Evanescent
Survive

Unmoored But Not Adrift in El Nido, Palawan

El Nido is a “managed resource protected area” in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. It is 420 kilometers or about an hour’s plane ride from Manila.

It has 45 islands and islets, each one a quiet corner to get unmoored from the hustle and bustle of city life.

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One can while away the day on a boat, not to go adrift, but perhaps get back one’s bearings.

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Or, when the day is done, simply enjoy the sunset, in a place where no one is in a hurry, not even the sea turtles that come to lay their eggs on the shore.

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The day is long, as it should be, because when the days are long, then life is long too.

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Unmoored
Adrift
Natural Heritage

A Thatched House in the Cotswolds

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Though thatched dwellings date back to primitive times, they became popular in nineteenth-century England when “the gentry wanted a taste of the good life and the simple pleasures of cottage living.”

I can understand if this longing for the simple pleasures of an idyllic, if idealized, life resonates even louder today.

Fortunately, some people have continued the tradition of thatching and it survives to this day in England.

I guess part of preserving heritage is not just to remind us of what has been but also to inspire us to see what might be.

Heritage