I love this poem, which I featured in one of my cherry blossom blog posts our first spring in Japan (all these sakura pictures are from 2009). I think its especially applicable now as sakura trees bloom over a strong and composed people, across a Japan that’s endured more than 800 earthquakes and one killer tsunami in the last month. Chris is now back in our home along the Hikichigawa, the most beautiful place in Japan. He’s continuing to work crazy hours (there’s yet to be a day since the earthquake where he hasn’t gone in to work, and yes, it’s Saturday there now), but he said the Road of a Thousand Blossoms has in fact started to puff out in cherry blossom beauty. My life was in Japan for now (church, friends, job, Chris’ job, home), but my future is elsewhere (baby, the house we’ll buy this fall, next duty station, the rest of our lives).
I’m thankful to be in Texas away from the power outages, continued shaking, and uncertainty about what any possible/potential radiation in my off-base Japanese tap water might do to harm the Bean. I’m happy to have held my new nephews, who are just a few weeks and months old. It’s so fun to have leisurely dinners with my parents and maternity clothes shopping trips with my sister.
But Japan is always on my mind and heart, and selfishly I’m sad that Chris was in Misawa and I was in Texas for the fun Tokyo hanami weekend I planned seven months ago—complete with hotel and dinner reservations that were canceled when the voluntary departure was issued.
Meanwhile, the cats are loving Texas. Mouse likes rolling outside; Pounce likes afternoon nap time. A week from now, someone will determine whether the departure will be lifted. If that happens, Chris and I will have to decide where to go from here. He asked me to leave before the departure was announced, so its being lifted isn’t our own criteria for returning.
Check out this interesting article by Debito Arudou in the Japan Times, which reads in part: