The cloud still thinks I'm in Japan.
The tide depends on time. It depends on the moon and it follows its own schedule. But it does not rush for anyone, it does not yield for anyone, it doesn't slow its reach or pull to accommodate the ocean. It just does.
I think of this night often, and even though it's just a week later, I think about how sharing light with people is such a wondrous and lovely thing. It can be done with sparklers, it can be done with home cooking, and it can be done with a smile. In any language, you can share light.
Imagine a little girl in a flower crown and pure white dress so overwhelmed with emotion from letting go of her butterfly friend and being stung by a bee at the same time, sitting on the kitchen counter as her dad nurses her foot with an ice cube.
"春一番ですねえ," お母さん said in recognition. She explained, and I thought it was just lovely that Japanese people have a word for this characteristic blitz that comes before the bloom. We kind of have something similar in English, but reversed, "the calm before the storm." Here its the storm before the calm.
to have something so sweet and warm was perfect for the mood I felt everyone, including me, was in: in awe of the history and atmosphere of Arashiyama, happy to be sitting together and cozying up by the heater, having witnessed such vast beauty after hiking the mountain; watching the world go by through the little shop's plastic covering.
I landed in this country with my eyes bright and open wide, my heart pounding, my stomach flipping, mind racing and the desire to embrace and be embraced by Japan. The only thing that's changed since then... is my hair is now six inches shorter. My experience here so far - we're about a [...]