If it is difficult for me to believe that it has taken 9 months for us to unpack and get settled, it must seem incredibly strange for others – most especially those whom we left behind in Okinawa, and those who have anticipated our arrival back in the United States for months. We have been “camping” here in Portland for 9 months, waiting to again have a little place that we could call our own and at last, we have found it. A cute little ranch with a fenced yard and lots of squirrels for Gunner, a man-room and a tremendous garage for D, and an enourmous kitchen, pantry and garden for me, complete with peonies in bloom and large old trees to keep the breezes flowing through the windows, and the shade covering the house in the upcoming summer.
The finding of this little house happened just in conjunction with the coming of summer in Portland and, quite literally, the sun and the opportunity to unfurl my little life has left me feeling like a completely new person all over again. I didn’t realize what a toll the dark winter had taken on my psyche or my spirit until the clouds had lifted.
What remains, now that the winter has burned away, is two more months of culinary school for me, plenty of projects for Derek, and a few summer adventures to look forward to. Being back in the United States is still a bit strange, and I won’t say for a minute that we don’t miss being abroad….and wouldn’t flit off again across the sea if an opportunity arose. But, for the months to come, we will very much enjoy watching our garden grow, preparing meals with the bounty over glasses of wine, and plotting rides into The Columbia Gorge from the drawing board in the garage. A few things didn’t return back to the U.S. intact — my Pyrex baking dishes and a few of the precious seashells that I have brought from Zanpa. But, it is certain that our love for a simplistic lifestyle has been unwrapped, and really, here all along.
Being back in a house of my own has brought back so many memories that were closed up when we boarded the plane from Okinawa – the sights and smells of this, our new home, are completely different than those in Uza, those that I miss and love so much. Roses and hibiscus, ocean breezes and the sounds of the forest, sweeping mountain views and standing at the oceanside looking out into the horizon are not at all the same thing, but, in the few days that we have spent in this little house, I can already feel the impressions being left on my little heart and I know that we have found a home we can bloom in. How exciting. 🙂