I made it to Tennessee! My daughter, after waking up at four for work and finishing at sundown, drove all the way to the airport to get me. I could see how tired she was, but all she showed when I climbed in the car was excitement; she immediately drove me to a local Nashville barbecue shop for dinner. As she ordered beers for us at the bar, I couldn’t help but stare at her facing away from me — her grown out hair that hadn’t been cut in three months, the threadbare pocket of her jeans out of which a dirty pair of work gloves poked out. I thought about the time I’d spent that morning thinking about what outfit I should pick out for when I met Sakura at the airport, and I was overcome with a sudden embarrassment.
The farm and livestock Sakura has been caring for are located at the end of miles of winding roads nestled in trees and knee-high grass. I am sure that the sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, and horses that grow up in these hills, even if used by humans for food and work, are incredibly happy.
Just as I did at her age, and as I continue to do, Sakura is thinking about how she wants to live the rest of her life — what she values, what she wants, what she believes is good and right. I really do believe the time she spends here in Tennessee, however long it may be, will be a priceless force of guidance in that process of discovery.
It is berry season, and so I will of course be making pie. In Tennessee, I was served delicious local strawberries. I hope you’ll enjoy this once a year blueberry pie that I will be baking. Please note that beginning this month and from now on I am changing the Saturday pick up window to 8AM - 12PM.
This year I will not be able to go home to Japan yet again. Instead, I’m hoping I’ll be able to spend some time seeing parts of the United States that I’ve never visited. If you have any recommendations or advice, I would appreciate anything! Therefore, I will be taking off July and August sales.
P.S. On our way out of the barbecue restaurant that first night, a young man sitting next to us said to Sakura, “Nice haircut!” I was shocked. But it made me think… it’s possible that I’m just a parent and worrying about the fact that my daughter hasn’t cut her hair in three months, but maybe Sakura was going for that hairstyle anyway and quite likes it. And maybe not. I don’t know. Either way, it’s probably good to try to see things from her side sometimes, too.