Nov 30, 2014


It's been six years since I came back to Tokyo, a place that is at once startling and foreign, as well as comfortable in a way that can only be called home. It has been harder than I ever expected to travel with my two year old, as culture shock is as real for her as it is for me, and we are both raw with the unceasing rhythm of this city. There are so many people to see, and endless numbers of trains to take, and I am so very tired. I know that she is exhausted, too. But, I can say with every fiber of my being, that it is worth every inconvenience and discomfort. We will find our way past the tantrums and tears (both of us), and that bone deep weariness that comes from being on the move constantly. Despite any difficulties, my heart is so full at the end of the day.

Once my little one is asleep, and Grandma is watching over her, I am free to venture out into this wild and wonderful city. Sometimes it is only to walk a block to the nearest vending machine to get a bottle of hot tea (yes, from a vending machine!). Other times it is to see dear friends who I haven't seen in six years. We sit head to head, deep in heartfelt conversation, frosted beer mugs in hand, and in an instant, those years between us are gone, as if they never had been. It is only when we say goodbye that i realize anew that our lives will continue on with vast distance between us, and that I can't say with any certainty when we will meet again. Then my heart breaks all over again, for those dear friends are family, and we are bound to each other with a love I can't quite express. Time and distance are powerless in the face of that kind of love.

Then, there is my family--the ones who are related to me; the kind where we can see our likeness  echoed in each others faces. I see them, and realize that I have been missing them all along, without even realizing it, for it is something that is easier kept buried within. I can pretend that I am not as lonely for them, and life can go on tidily. But I've seen them now, and talked with them into the still hours, cried, laughed, and felt their embraces, and the floodgates are wide open. Yes, it is easier to keep those gates closed, but there is something to be said for unlocked emotion. I feel so strongly because I am blessed with that much love in my life, and that is something to be grateful for indeed. Homecoming is bittersweet, and everything I could have hoped for and more.


  1. i feel that bittersweet feeling when i go back "home"...
    beautiful photos

  2. Thank you so much! It really is bittersweet isn't it.


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