It's a winter slump. I stay in. I hide under blankets. I watch endless hours of TV. I read books. I don't often venture out.
I am from the desert. It's a warm place even in winter. On days when I can't feel my toes, I long for those warmer temperatures.
I forget about summer. I forget it's sometimes too humid, and I miss those long days and warm nights. I forget I sweat at night instead of freeze and I wish it would get here faster.
I hate leaving work in the dark. I remember that it used to be sunny when I left. I remember when we could enjoy walking outside instead of hurrying quickly to the shelter of the nearest warm place.
I lose motivation. I drink thousands of cups of hot tea. I find creative ways to drink hot beverages: salted caramel hot chocolate, caramel apple cider (or maybe I just find ways to imbibe more caramel).
I miss salads as I slurp my soup. I constantly use my slow cooker. I still don't want to do dishes.
I bring my plants indoors. They crowd my already small kitchen. I dream of the abundance of a spring garden. I want squash and tomatoes and peppers all freshly picked. I pray nothing else left outside dies as I try not to be sad uprooting another dead plant.
Suddenly, I notice it's slightly warmer than last week and it's not as dark outside as it usually is at 5.
I remember summer starts at 4AM as the sun tries to invade my sleeping area. I don't mind it, I think kicking off blankets.
The orange glow of my heater will be the quiet whir of a fan. It doesn't matter if it's not cold enough to keep me cool. I remember the cicadas buzzing all night and the early hours of the morning. I remember they often fly straight toward me. Compared to the chill in my bones it doesn't seem to matter so much now.
The beach is empty. I remember it's overcrowded in the summer. I don't mind so much now as I remember bare bodies peppering the sand and splashing in the waves. Everyone is smiling. I miss vacations and eating ice cream on hot days.
I miss shorts and sandals and tank tops. I miss hats and sunglasses. I feel like I never have enough layers to keep me warm. I feel bulky and weighted.
I miss riding my bicycle. I miss not having a destination in mind. Now the wind slices my hands and stings my face and two minutes to the store is too long. I miss exploring my neighborhood. I miss finding shops I never knew were there or tiny flower shops bursting with herbs.
I miss going places and updating this blog with my misadventures. I miss being lost in Japan.
Well 2014 is in full swing here in Tokyo. It's Monday so today many people return to work and business carries on as usual. If you want to see a city of approximately 13 million people empty come to Tokyo for New Year's. It's is a time when many people return to their hometowns. I believe very few people call Tokyo their hometown.
After returning to Tokyo right before New Year's Eve, the only person I wanted to see was my boyfriend. We had ourselves a "staycation" staying warm inside, watching movies and Japanese shows, and eating tons of food. My boyfriend cooked special New Year's dishes which was a new and wonderful experience for me. I was so glad to spend New Year's with him.
Vegan おせち (special New Year's dishes):
Everything including special New Year's soup with sweet miso and mochi and pickles my boyfriend made: