I’ve made a lot of things in the past three weeks. I’ve made three batches of cookies, two pies, several loaves of bread, a few pizzas, a lot of croutons, a Thanksgiving dinner, a turkey, my mother’s oatmeal stuffing, homemade jelly doughnuts, some salads, guacamole and coffee. I’ve also made Christmas gifts, training schedules, clean inboxes, clean laundry, phone calls, video chats, bubble baths, to-do lists, some good jokes, sandy shoes, long runs and short runs. What I have not made much of is photos.
In my defense, I have at my disposal - for the first time in four years – an oven; we are busy making up for lost time. I also have friends here in Okinawa; we, too, are busy making up for lost time.
But there’s something else I’ve come to understand about experiencing new places, whether visiting them or living in them. They take time to steep. The transition can happen relatively quickly, but the flavor and nuance take a little while to develop. There are the things you notice right away – how blue the blues are in Okinawa, how green and warm and windy it is, how smiley and friendly the locals are – and then there are the things that take time to see – that the canal winds its way into a quiet neighborhood, that this street reminds me of Mexico, that the tides don’t follow predictable patterns, and Okinawan dusks have a lavender hue. That my eyes don’t truly begin to see until I’ve begun to plant my roots, whether deep or shallow, into the ground.