I fell asleep last night to the sound of coqui frogs chirping in the woods behind my house. And now my skin is being caressed by gentle breezes, as I listen to the calls of birds I cannot identify against a background of exotic foliage, while pineapples and papayas ripen in the rays of the sun. The room is light and airy, cool and clean. The cats are napping in mid-morning tranquility.
We are just beginning to settle into a life neither of us saw coming but which we welcome with open arms, minds and hearts. As so many people have said, this is the fantasy. We are not alone in wanting this, but we are on the short list of people who find a way to make it happen.
A quick background on me, I moved from the States to Japan in 1986 via a stint in Europe during the dying-ember days of the bubble economy. A few weeks later, Rochi and I happened upon each other. Before you could say fraternization, we were living together and then zip-a-dee-doo-dah, we were married.
Then other stuff happened. Fast forward 32 years.
In February of this year, we took the first vacation we’d taken together in years, maybe ten, neither of us can remember. We settled on Hawaii.
I had been dreaming of moving to Hawaii since God was a child and had finally gotten Rochi to accept that life in paradise might not be all that bad. So we did research, met with a realtor and became profoundly discouraged. But then a unicorn tripped over a rabbit’s foot as Tinkerbell had tea with a leprechaun who had a selection of horseshoes in his satchel and a four leaf clover tucked behind his ear, which all conspired to sweep us up into a cyclone of serendipity that dropped us at the doorstep of the wondrous world of what can happen when you open yourself up to everything you’ve trained yourself to believe is impossible.
We gave away most of our Tokyo life, packed up what was left, stuffed the cats into our pockets and tumbled onto a plane bound for Hawaii. Today marks the one week anniversary of our life on the Big Island. Our eyes are both wide open and squeezed shut. We know that paradise comes with glitches; we know that those glitches remind us not to take for granted the enormous luck we have found. We know that today is what matters. Yesterday is lining someone’s parakeet cage; tomorrow is a gift waiting to be opened. Whatever health/immigration/employment issues decide to arise will be dealt with.
For now, we celebrate with blueberry pancakes.
To new and old readers alike, I welcome you aboard. Rest gently in your seat and enjoy the views. I don’t yet know where this train is bound, but the journey promises to be a fun one.