It was rainy today. Because I didn't want to drip water all over Fukunari-sensei's home when I arrived this evening, I decided to leave my bike at home, opting for the bus and train way of travel to HPAC. I wore my red rain boots and carried my green umbrella I bought with my brother one rainy day in Tokyo.
After the lesson, I stepped into the misty evening and decided to walk the 4 miles back to my apartment rather than catch another train and bus. As I traced the pavement that I usually sped over, I could tell which restaurant made the stinky ramen smell, I noticed pine and lavender in the tired rain. My boots gave me courage against any water underfoot, and I enjoyed slowly crossing the river from above, seeing the apartment lights reflected in the dark, placid water. I enjoyed stopping at all the lonely alley lights, giving them company on a winter night, myself tamed by Japan but protected from its weather.
It's winter here. It's in the air, in our minds, in our bodies and spirits. But this morning, as my friend and I walked along the bridgeway connecting the train station to HPAC, I noticed a pink glow from the trees, something my father once pointed out to me years ago, one late winter day as we drove along the highway, looking over the horizon of trees. The coming of spring.