We're back ...

... and actually, we've been back since last Wednesday. If that doesn't sound very enthusiastic, well, you're a good judge of written emotion. I could blame the lack of zest on jetlag, but we've pretty much emerged from that fog. I could (and did) blame it on the constant rain, but the sun came out today. The heat is certainly heavy and uncomfortable, no doubt, and that doesn't help my mood.

But really, the sharp contrast between grassy lawns, quiet sidewalks, backyards, back porches, and ready access to farmers' markets, dirt and family, and the crowded, concrete-filled, mall-walking, anonymous life we live in Hong Kong is just rough. Oh, you know there are things we love about life here, and it's not really so lacking in nature and community as my tired, glum self makes it out to be. I'm trying to pay attention to these things, to remember the goodness of our life and our rhythms here.

But I'm also paying attention to this transition time, this liminal threshold when both worlds are very present in our hearts. There is richness and understanding here, I'm sure. Lots to write about in the coming days: how quickly anything can become "normal"---which is both a comfort and a warning, how deeply and irrationally our own childhoods define parenting for us ("irrational" in the sense of how our past influences our present without, or even against, logic and reason), the gifts and challenges of living someplace on a short-term basis and how it differs from indefinite moves.

But tonight, let me just indulge in some memories from home and share a series of images from one lovely, iconic summer night---one of those nights that turns everyone into a photographer, except in my family we have Chip, so the rest of us don't even bother. (These pictures are, of course, all his.)

It was a night after a day of berry-picking, a night of BBQ leftovers and laughing so hard our tummies hurt. It was a night almost so beautiful it hurt, a night of (as Paloma says in The Elegance of the Hedgehog) the always in the never. Enjoy.





homegrown zinnias

golden hour

blueberry bliss

(want to see more beautiful pictures?  Check out Chip's flickr photostream)


Jeff Forster said...

I saw a chart once about travel and how people adjust to going to a place. There are these blue periods in the transition that you write about here. Some people advise students who study abroad for a year to not come home at Christmas for this reason. It seems extreme, but the amount of emotional energy it takes to anticipate the transition and go through it is so significant.

What's good about this post is that it reflects how you were feeling the day you wrote it. In a few weeks, you may not be able to access those feelings, but you captured them when you were feeling them.

On a less philosophical note, I tried slab pie. It was ugly and messy and delicious. It was a very humid day and the pie dough did not cooperate. There was really no top crust available to crimp with the bottom crust. I used the Fanny Farmer pie crust recipe that rarely dazzles but rarely disappoints. Maybe I'll have to use one of the tart recipes I saw in your links. Thanks for the idea, though. It made a festive dessert for my in-laws' 40th anniversary dinner.

foodsmith said...

You know, we've been thinking these last few weeks that we're glad we didn't come home last Christmas, that it would have interrupted the adjustment process too soon. And it's making me feel better about our decision not to come home this year ... though if you ask me about it come December I'm sure I'll sing a different song.
But oh, slab pie! I'm glad you tried it, in all its messy glory. I hope you do again. What fruit did you use? I've decided that it's really best with the intensity of berries or cherries rather than peaches ...