We had a reduced quartet rehearsal today, sans viola. After spending about 2 hours working through bowings and thinking of some musical ideas for the 3rd and 4th movements of Death and the Maiden, we opened the practice room's vault-like door and stepped into my living room. We sat around the table for a little while; Yuria became interested in a book that Fukunari-sensei is lending me, a bilingual guidebook to Kyoto, Chihiro started to make plans for a trip to a waterfall to see the fall leaves.
As Yuria studied the English way to say things related to Kyoto, I thought she might enjoy some of the children's books I had. I brought some to her and we read them together; I had a small feeling of motherhood, explaining what certain words in these early readers meant, "thumped," and "whooshed." I shared Owl at Home and she read about Owl inviting winter into his home and making tear water tea. I let her borrow the book that still has my name written in my mother's handwriting in the front cover. She's also going to learn some of the adventures of Frog and Toad, that famous duo, unknown in Japan.
There's something really nice about introducing to another person something so beloved to me–the stories of my childhood that my mother read to me. And now they are being read by a friend of mine in Japan who will share some small part of me from long, long ago, and far, far away. Once upon a time.