From Nagano to Fukui and Back: Spring In Travel Size

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In the span of the last ten days, I have lived in three prefectures and crossed several others. Spring in little dosages across the country. From the remaining illuminated sakura along the Tenryu River in Nagano to the bright pink flowers lining the rice fields and Echizen line train tracks in Fukui, signs of spring have brought me to a place of happiness that winter could not. Thank you spring!

While many people use the Golden Week holidays to travel to cities or places of interest, I used mine to visit loved ones. First, my homestay family from college studies, then everyone who made Fukui my home for two years before coming to Tokyo. The very same people without whom I wouldn’t be who I am today. I had put off returning for too long, some nine months, because I was worried it was too soon, it’d be too weird, and the excuses went on. What has passed is in the past, I told myself. But in reality I never wanted to lose the relationships I treasured so much, those that somehow formed quite naturally despite the circumstances surrounding them. Like one of my closest friends being the mother of a guy I dated briefly some two years ago. Life has silly ways of working itself out.

Coming back to Tokyo, I’m pleased to return to my life as I know it, yet saddened to leave the beauty of rural Japan and the people who made it my heart and home. Running along rice fields in the morning, through tall grasses with bees buzzing on flowers and the blue sky reflected in the Rice fields yet to be planted, is one of the most incredible, liberating feelings I’ve ever known. And the perfect starry night sky, untouched by city lights? A dream come to life.

All I know after this weekend away is that I won’t wait as long to go back again. I won’t be afraid this time, because the only weird feelings I anticipated were those I made myself. The lesson? Live every moment as it is, without judgment, expectation, or commentary. It’s not the least bit easy but it makes all the difference.

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