Take heart, have courage

A photo of Snowy, my rabbit. I named him after Tintin’s dog Snowy, from my favourite childhood comics and cartoon The Adventures of Tintin

A photo of Snowy, my rabbit. I named him after Tintin’s dog Snowy, from my favourite childhood comics and cartoon The Adventures of Tintin


On a trip to Kinokuniya, I chanced upon an interesting book titled Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. If anything, it was the word "coffee" that got my attention. Intrigued, I decided to get it. It was perfect for a bit of light reading.

Delicate and introspective in its storytelling, Kawaguchi invites the reader to ponder the question, "What would you do if you could go back in time?" Oh yes, the book had a time-travelling plot. The café Funiculi Funicula offers its customers the unique chance to travel back in time, with a catch. I’ll leave that for you to figure out.

Yet rather than being frivolous, Kawaguchi uses the plot to delve into more serious themes. Regret. Pain. Loss. While Kawaguchi’s book received mixed reviews, it has an important lesson for its readers: "No matter what difficulties people face, they will always have the strength to overcome them. It just takes heart." It just takes heart. A little too simple, I thought.

Then, earlier this year, I lost someone very dear to me. It was my pet rabbit. Though some may think the passing of a pet inconsequential, I was wracked with grief. I had lost a friend. Someone I really loved. I remember thinking, "If only I could have done something differently..."

I could not go back in time. But I did have family and friends who understood me and supported me in my sorrow. They gave me the encouragement I needed and the hope to keep loving and living. What Kawaguchi meant when he wrote, "It just takes heart", I am not entirely sure. Perhaps it means that we need to have a little courage, to reach out and lean on support, and, above all else, to have hope—there are brighter days ahead.

Take heart and have courage,


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