“It’s a shame,” my friend said as he stared glumly out the window, “I’ll probably never be able to experience this ever again.”
High above the imperial palace grounds in the Peninsula Hotel, we presided over the biggest city in the world, unfolding with unprecedented magnificence off into the black night. I was feeling a bit pensive, too. It was our last day in the city, our last day in the country. Back to real life, I thought. “That’s not true,” I muttered.
Going forward ten days, I’ve returned to the daily grind at my university. Sitting at my laptop in the library drinking my apish attempt at royal milk tea, I wondered about the possibilities beyond graduation. My mind drifted over the groves of my youth, filled with fragrant orange blossoms. It passed over the endless fields of green sod and the herds of cows standing still like wax figures ever-so-slowly chomping at the grass. Taking this scene, I molded it in my mind like clay and imagined myself in Kobe prefecture. This isn’t so bad, I thought. I pictured myself in that situation, standing on the veranda of a semi-eastern semi-western house on a bluff overlooking my ranchlands.
How funny that I managed to recreate the old Florida experience in a place on literally the other side of the planet. I thought it strange that my own children will probably never know the experiences, places, and individuals I had and knew growing up. A bit of fear crept into my heart as I became aware of just the amount of sacrifices I’ll need to make to make all of this a reality.But why not split the year? There’s no need to be so final about things.
There’s still so much planning to do.