We are back home in Tokyo after a fantastic month at home in America. Exchanging one wintry landscape for one clearly about to burst into spring feels delightful in a way, but we're already more than homesick for our family and friends. One of the beautiful things international living teaches is that there are amazing people everywhere in the world. It is heartening and humbling to meet people on many continents, in places large and small, urban and rural, that are so wonderful.
It is also, at times, heart-breaking. Farewells are inevitable and the least favorite part of any adventure. The places we have been lucky enough to live and visit - England, Wisconsin, Kazakhstan, Michigan, Illinois, and now Japan - have been brought to life by the people we have met there and shared time with. A part of us remains in those places and a bit of those places also always travels with us.
*Another snapshot of the landscape of my heart: While the accompanying photo is clearly not my best work (notice the reflection of my hand holding the camera), it is a view I've known my whole life. Looking west from my mother's kitchen through the pines to spot the last rays of a glorious sunset is nearly a family past time. When we moved to this house those pines didn't impede the view in the least, and now they provide a contrasting grid-work to the brilliant clouds. It's part of where my inspiration for international adventures began, and where I first learned the pleasures of growing food as well as eating it.