’tis the season

Ue Arata Cho

It’s the old neighborhood where I grew up, but it isn’t.  It’s entirely gone, been wiped clean by…growth, change, progress…except for one small house and shop across the street from that deluxe gas station on the right.  The station actually sits in what used to be my front yard.

This image is from Google earth, the ‘magic carpet’ I occasionally take when I want to swoop in and take little walks down the streets where I used to ride my bike, visit in the weavers quarters and play with my neighborhood friends.  It has improved vastly since I sat looking at the same place on my brother’s laptop several years ago.  This summer when visiting his home, he pulled me over and said “Susan, have you seen this?”  I was astonished.

In retrospect, perhaps none of this is so remarkable, except that I simply have not made my way back to this spot since high school days.  It’s present day Ue Arata in Kagoshima, Japan – my furusato (hometown), not my birthplace.  Other aspects of my life were born here, though.

It’s a long and short story that can’t be told quickly or easily in words just now.  It appears though, that my family & I will make at least a ‘virtual’ contact with this place in the very near future.  Suffice it to say, emotions are running high at the moment and it’s difficult to focus.  It’s what comes with the season though, thoughts of home, the heart home, furusato.


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2 Responses to “’tis the season”

  1. neki rivera Says:

    google earth is indeed THE magic carpet.some months back i took a virtual walk in my old neighborhood in rome.relieved to see the small landmarks are still there. the big ones such as the dept. store are gone

    • Susan Says:

      I am really amazed at what is left of my old neighborhood. I was glad to find that I could recognize a few things. There are some old landmarks around the city that will probably never change because it’s what makes it unique historically (not to mention the volcano).

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