This, I tell myself, will be the last change of seasons we witness here in Japan. I feel it with the same quiet certainty that I did when we first applied for worldwide teaching positions long ago. Even then, we could have been assigned anywhere in the world, but in my heart, I knew we would end up somewhere in Asia. And we did.
Saying goodbye to Japan is bittersweet, but I feel grateful for all that we have learned, seen, and accomplished here. Here is where our wanderlust was born. Here is where we made some amazing lifelong friends. Here is where we raised a son who is moving along on his own exciting path. 'Here' was very, very good to us.
I think I will miss the changing seasons the most, at least for awhile. The places we plan to travel also have several seasons but they are playfully referred to as hot, hotter, and hottest. That will be an adjustment for us, but one that we are willing to make.
When I feel an unquenchable longing for that crisp, autumn breeze and the smell of burning leaves in the air, we'll simply plan a trip someplace that will remedy that sensory deprivation. Perhaps, Vermont. Or Colorado. Or maybe even Germany for Oktoberfest.
The world awaits, and in the meantime, we will enjoy every "last" minute of this journey here in Japan.