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Lately I’ve been feeling nostalgic.

Images and memories and emotions from long ago in Japan swirl around in my head and my heart, tugging at tears of bittersweet gratitude and longing:

· Foggy steam rising off pools of hot springs, lit by the full moon hanging low in the sky.

· Misty clouds wafting off our shimmering golden red skin, deep sighs of complete satisfaction and comfort shared with friends.

· Pounding rice in large stone bowls, pounding them into a sticky dough, formed into balls, then grilled over an open fire, dipped into a sweet soy sauce, and slurped down, echoes of friendly cajoling and laughter, the background music.

· The clanging of bells, the hot, sweet, red bean soup, the eerie wailing of year-end songs.


I missed my mom terribly when I visited little Kai.

· She would have loved