Ichigo Ichie

Ichigo Ichie is a Japanese phrase that means “treasure every encounter, for it will never recur.”

It would be wonderful to put this into practice, won’t it? While standing at the cash queue at the supermarket, tapping your foot out of boredom, you might look behind you and find another restless foot tapping on the floor, and the foot might belong to a girl with a funny eyebrow tic; a smile might be shared, and ichigo ichie, someday she might turn out to be a friend who would share books with you, bookmarking the passages that she thinks you might like.
You might have walked past him a thousand times and never noticed anything but a frown, and ichigo ichie, one day you might look up and see a shy smile that wraps you in an unbreakable bubble of warmth and joy, and you might even allow it to float you away.
On a day when you are gasping for breath on the steps outside an ICU, as the vitals of a parent nearly flat lines, and ichigo ichie, a hand with freckled skin and gnarly knuckles might touch your shoulder and an unfamiliar voice might tell you that it will be alright; you might not believe her; but when things do turn out alright, you might recall the comforting words of that nameless stranger and keep her in your daily prayer.
You might stifle a slight irritation for the diminutive old man who hobbles down the stairs with a cane, and holds you up during your morning rush to work, and ichigo ichie, one day you might not rush past but walk beside him, and he might chuckle and tell you how he was as young and hurried once, authoring dozens of books and earning acclaim, but how he was also the missing husband in a marriage, and an absent father at home, and that might slow your steps to an appropriate pace.
It might be someone you meet just once, or the regular crowd of your life; but every encounter is unique in terms of time, circumstances and what we say and do. Keep your ears and eyes open. Give in to that moment. Every encounter might not lead to anything substantial; but you never know which ones would strike a lifelong connection, or set off a series of serendipitous events, or provide moments of shared laughter, or make you more aware of what you want, or just clear a haze.
One opportunity, one encounter. Seize the moment.

4 thoughts on “Ichigo Ichie”

  1. very well said… we must treasure every moment and live to the fullest..I try to do that and try to enjoy every moment, every importance, every smile and every joke shared in my life.. God bless you..

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