We transferred back to the states in spring of 1979 from Japan. We had lived there three years and it was one of the best places we had lived. We met friends, we started our family, we became Christians there, and we grew up there. I call those years my ‘college years’ as I never went to college and I spent the years in Japan at the age where I could have been studying in school.
We moved to Maine in early June of 1979. Hubby worked sixty miles from where we lived. He got up early (and I did too), and after cleaning the house and doing chores, I felt lonely. I knew people, but, it was early in our tour there so I had not discovered the joy these ‘new’ people would bring to my life.
One morning I was moping around the house missing my friends from Japan. I was lonely and miserable and was crying off and on. I was in the United States, people spoke my language, but I felt out-of-place. I wanted to go back to Japan.
That morning, as I cried and prayed, I felt like I learned a lesson from God. It was like He showed me a scrapbook. This scrapbook was filled with pictures and mementos. The lesson learned was this, the people and experiences I had in Japan would always live in my heart and mind. They were like a scrapbook I could open. I could remember and enjoy the memories, but, I could not live there, I needed to focus on the present and where I was.
From that time on, I have often thought of that lesson. I have tried to live my life, focused on the present.
Today I have opened that scrapbook often. My sister posted a picture of the first house she lived in after getting married. It was the home where she started her family. I looked at the picture and thought of the laughter we had when we visited there. I remembered my oldest daughter taking her afternoon nap on the hammock that used to hang on the front porch. I smiled and thought of several other memories of that time. She had found the picture of the house on the web and that got me thinking of finding some of the places we have lived.
My first thought was to go to Japan. I ended up finding a blog with pictures of the area we lived in Japan, Nagai, or Admiralty Heights. It was wonderful! Immediately, I was transported back in time. Seeing the wide roads in the housing area that were actually airstrips for the Japanese airforce in World War II. We could see Mt. Fuji from our living room windows and our bedroom window. That was our view each day, seeing the sun rise and the sun set with that magnificent mountain always in view. Seeing the pictures brought back the memories of the people there. Thanks to Facebook, we have been able to be in touch with one another again.
Finally, I realized that a year ago today we moved our furniture into this house. I posted that picture and then said, I never want to move again.
As I thought about that, I chided myself, for being so adamant. We do not know what the future holds and saying things so definitive puts a box around your life. If I had not had a spirit of adventure 41 years ago, my life would have been so different. I could not have written anything in this post. For, my world view would have been vastly opposite of what it is now. Each of our lives is an adventure and journey. We all have scrapbooks in our minds filled with moments that our memories are made of. The adhesive may be yellowing and lifting off of photos that are fading, but those memories are still clinging there.
I have been so blessed in this life. Starting out from a small town in Northwestern Pennsylvania, I have traveled and met some incredible people along the way. I have smelled things I could never had imagined. I have seen sights I didn’t know existed. I have been so blessed.
There is a quote from the movie Hook that is a conversation between the old Wendy and Peter that goes like this:
Granny Wendy: So… your adventures are over.
Peter Banning: Oh, no. To live… to live would be an awfully big adventure.
I have had an awfully big adventure and I am waiting to see what is next… Thanks for stopping by today, DAF (Cathi)