Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Farewell BBQ

Planning a day when four families can take time to be together, means it is a once a year event that is memorable. The desire to do it again will have to lie dormant for a long while.

The day was overcast, but the rain held off until afternoon. A tarp was stretched to cover the food and table. The view was spectacular and relaxing. The children were happy to hunt for shells, dig in the sand, and then to play together inside. The adults happy to have the chance to chat and relax, milled about eating and drinking.

The thoughtfulness of friends often strikes the chord of regret for future times, but I took to heart Kendo Mamas words from Friday when she said, "I'm not saying goodbye. We have Facebook, Skype, and I know that I can get on a plane and in time I will get there. The world is small. I believe that." So things change, but we are not forgotten, and we are connected now more than ever.

In high school when I left Spain, it was the saddest day of my life, age sixteen. I wore myself out crying over the Atlantic. There was no email, phone calls were expensive, and it was not likely I would get back any time soon, and I didn't. It was here, in Japan, that two friends from my Spain days contacted me about all of us (friends from high school in Spain) getting onto this thing called Facebook. Ha! Now it is me is trying to convince Japanese Mama friends to join Facebook and widen the circle. I am comfortable with at least knowing something of their lives, a photo at a birthday, a pink sky, a good meal eaten. The Japanese regularly take photos of their meals and for good reason.

As the blessings of our friends pour in and over us these last days, I am feeling more at peace with the changes about to take place. When someone is your friend, they are always your friend. You can be old and gnarled, but you know there are some people who will always make you laugh, always make you sense adventure at hand, and always make you glad that you know them. I'm also particularly grateful they speak English and that they took a wayward gaijin family under their wings and gave us things to eat.

We shelter each other at different times. It has been my time to receive, and it has been very hard to always be the receiver of help and assistance because it is in my make up to want to give. My fear of loosing friends is dampened by the ever greater connections present in the world today. We can do so much more with and for each other if we put a bit ourselves, the kind, the positive, and hopeful parts foremost,  out there, you know, right here on a blog, on Facebook, on Google search.

Loaves of French bread slathered in butter, sprinkled with herbs like basil and shiso, were greedily eaten by hungry children today. Kendo Mama made eleven cups of rice to make a double batch of onigiri for the grill- yielding a large number of yaki onigiri. There wasn't one left at day's end. Bread and rice, the stuff of life.

I will continue to write as I settle into a new life. I will continue reflecting on cultural experiences. I'm a bit of an outsider by virtue of my life experiences, but I have yet to let that slow me down for long. Get connected, share some of the good stuff, and let's see the places we go, the stuff of our lives!

a lunch picture including quails eggs and Pokeman fishcakes
View of the beach at low tide & Enoshima in the distance
Yaki onigiri grilled rice balls
Enjoying dessert inside