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I'm Back

My parents with cherry blossoms

With the passing of the autumn equinox, it really feels like fall is finally coming to Pasadena. How has everyone been? It’s been over half a year since the last time I wrote. In a recent phone conversation with my daughter, she asked about this blog, and as I complained about how busy I was, how little time I had to write, she said “Mama, that’s a sign you’re getting old! That’s no excuse!” I immediately realized she was right. “Time is something you make, not find,” is something I’ve always told myself, and my daughter caught me in a moment of hypocrisy.

This past spring and summer, I went home to Japan. During the four months I spent there, I noticed for the first time in my life that my parents, now 76, were starting to get old. The two still run their steel fabrication business, and their lives, after all these years, still filled with meetings and planning and work, are not so different, but their past speed and great energy with which they approached life is a little faded. I think they notice too on the days where they can’t physically keep up.

Recently, I heard someone say to me “life isn’t really about succeeding. Rather, it’s about accumulating over a lifetime small moments you are proud of, and to act with the intention to create those moments each and every day.” If there’s something you want to do, no matter how small it is, no matter if those who are important are watching, no matter how much time it takes, and no matter how daunting it may feel, to work, not in great leaps, but slowly and steadily at what you believe in – this consistency over a great length of time is what creates a life that is not only fulfilled but ultimately joyful, spirited, and alive. Perhaps it is immature of me, as I am decades younger than my parents, to say such things, but my hope is that everyone in my family – my parents, spouse, children – live this way, and to share in each other’s fulfilled lives, until the day they die.

Baking in Japan was a struggle; I passed the summer unable to bake a proper loaf. I’m not sure if I should blame the humidity and the heat, the tiny, weak oven (the only one that fits into a small house), or myself. I hope I haven’t forgotten how to make bread, but I am determined to begin again. This month I won’t be making a dessert, but instead will put all my energy into bread, bagels, english muffins and granola. I look forward to baking for you again; it’s been too long.









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