The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter.
People who visit this area called, “snow country” in Niigata prefecture would think it will take a year for all the snow to melt. And I can’t blame them, I mean look at this. This picture was taken last February, in the middle of winter and nope, we weren’t having a super snow storm because when it snows in this part of Japan, it is always super snow storm.
Fortunately, there are four seasons in Japan so there is no such thing as one full year of winter though every winter day you may feel like it. At one point or another, all the snow will have to melt, paving way for another phase of life, the spring season.
I love spring. I think it’s one of life’s mystery, one of Earth’s miracles. For me spring is a time of renewal. I love to watch the gardens around me as the daffodils and tulips and cherry blossoms (!) start to show their beauty. It is such a miracle that this can happen each year. The sun gets stronger and you really begin to feel its warmth against your face.
Things begin to come alive. Or they just simply BEGIN. The fiscal year in Japan starts in April. This is when the new school year start and new college graduates start working. This spring is definitely a new beginning for us – Benjamin attending first grade at the elementary school.
When I was living in Dubai, I was perfectly ok without experiencing the seasons. It was so convenient to be able to wear the same type of clothes everyday all throughout the year. And also not suffer from pollen allergy in spring time. I lived in Japan for 10+ years before moving to Dubai so I thought, I’ve had my fill of spring, I won’t miss it. However, I didn’t realize how much I loved and longed for the seasons once we moved back to Japan.
We arrived and started our life here in the beginning of the year, in the middle of winter and then now everything is becoming alive and green.
Spring is also the time we finally change the tires in our car from studless snow tires to normal ones. Benjamin gets to help do it, only because he really, really wanted to do it so he is in charge of turning the screws as if he knows what he’s doing. Oh boys and cars.
Speaking of seasons, when we moved here in the middle of winter, I was worried the kids would hate me. That they’d utter the word ‘Dubai’ (our previous home and where they grew up) every single winter day. But surprisingly, not only did they welcome the change, one of the actually LOVES winter. Weird, I know but in the eyes of a child, everything is fresh and new, it seems.
It’s the kids first experience of the spring season and it may be the warmer weather, or the greens outside or the fact that even if it’s April or May, they can actually play outside. In Dubai, they start to get lesser and lesser time outdoors in these months due to the heat.
Looking at the smiles on their faces, I am confident to say that our move to Japan was a great decision, at least, for them. They get to know their grandparents better (we live with them), they get to know about the culture and heritage that’s part of who they are and then they get to experience the changing of the seasons (and lots of outdoor time).