Forgiveness in the Rain

I dislike riding my bicycle in the rain. I would rather walk and carry an umbrella than ride and feel like I have no protection. Often, the umbrella is a placebo anyway, as the wind is so strong as to make carrying the umbrella useless, or even counter-productive.

Since it was starting to dribble when I left for work on Friday, I grabbed my umbrella and began to walk. The wind wasn’t blowing so I was enjoying the cooler weather, if not the humidity.

My work schedule is a rare paradise in workplaces. I have the guilty pleasure of being able to I go in when I have work to do and leave when I am finished. All my Friday classes had already been planned; I left right around 2:30, solid in the knowledge that I’d still be an hour early to do any last minute changes and to set up the classroom.

I was two blocks from home when I remembered.

A new student was scheduled to begin class that day. With me. At 3:00. Even had I been riding my bike, at that point, I would not have made it to school before three. Panicked, I called my boss and explained the situation. I figured I could be there almost on time if I ran home, retrieved my bicycle, and hightailed it the work.

Her grace and forgiveness calmed and soothed me as she said, “I’ll come get you.”

In the chaos of setting up a new student, especially one whose work schedule is as varied as mine, uncertainties always creep in. There had been a question of whether she would begin this week or next, and at what time. In the end, 3:00 on Friday was decided. I wrote it down in on place, but not on the schedule at work. I felt only a little relief I managed to remember before class started. I should have remembered before leaving the house.

Yet, my boss offered more than mere forgiveness, which is enormous in itself. She came in her car to give me a ride, and we arrived at the school at 3:00 on the dot. No one (but the world of blog readers) was any the wiser of my mistake.

People ask why I picked Tokushima as the place to live and work in Japan. My boss is why.