Soon we'll be leaving Japan and moving back to the US. It's been a very busy time getting ready for our move, but I wanted to make a quick post.
Some things I learned in Japan:
I learned what it feels like to ride a night bus home from a post industrial city to my home in a small town surrounded by mountains.
I learned the exquisite pleasure of one tiny bite of a pickled sour plum between bites of rice at lunch time. One of my students heard about my fondness for the plums, ume boshi, and she gave me a jar that her grandmother made. They were 15 years old. I loved them.
I learned the solitude of not knowing what anyone around me is saying, and not knowing what they're saying, and not knowing what they're thinking...for years.
I learned to be outside, way outside, of everything I know.
I'll miss those things, but I'll also be glad to be back home.