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 them 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).
Grace – I was so glad to hear from you, and to see the lovely pictures from Niigata prefecture in the springtime. (I lived in Yokosuka for a time with my military husband many years ago.) And I was so pleased to hear Benjamin is starting the first grade there. He is such a handsome young man, and looks completely ready for this important step in his life! But you sound a bit wistful when you speak of Dubai. Please take care of yourself and find a way to make Grace happy too. Are you doing this? Much love, Mary (Charleston, SC USA)
Thanks for reading my blog post.
I am ok 😉
People ask me if I missed Dubai at all and without a blink of an eye, I’d reply, no. At least not yet, not right now.
Oh, now that is tough to answer, Grace. I love something about each season.
1. Autumn. I love the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. I love the crisp air.
2. Spring. I love the greening up of the trees and the grass. I love the flowers.
3. Summer. I love the hot air, and not having to wear a jacket outside when I am walking the dogs. I love the sunshine.
4. Winter. I love the silence you get when the snow falls. In fact, I often will go outside and stand in the snow, alone, just listening to the muffled silence.
Thanks for reading and leaving a comment Maribeth! I do love all the seasons too though winter is really harsh in our place (the place holds the record of most snow fall in all of Japan). But I still liked watching the snow fall, taking photos of snowscapes and enjoying walks outside when the sun comes out.
Now I’m jealous. You live in a beautiful place, Grace. The flowers are so pretty! You know very well how many seasons I have here, haha.
Hi Nadia! Yes, the flowers here are so pretty and so plenty of them around!
Though our circumstances may change in the future, I would still prefer to live here than in Tokyo or any other big cities in Japan.
So nice to see you’re enjoying your new habitat, and your kids are happy! Spring is lovely, yes, and it’s my favorite season as well. I’m not crazy at all about cold snowy winters, but have lived through them many many years in different countries. I think you learn to enjoy the good things about various climates, and with a positive attitude it works out wherever you are. Your photos are beautiful! What I love about spring also is the longer days, and sitting outside at 9 or 10 in the summer evenings.
Our daylight hours isn’t so extreme and it’s already dark by 7pm but yeah longer days compared to winter when it’s already dark at about 5pm.
The kids are happy so I am so happy for them 😉
We pretty much have hot, hotter and hottest. Not as hot as Dubai, but from April/May through September it’s usually up into the 90s each day. It’s the humidity that makes it the worst. Just walking down the driveway to the mailbox and back, necessitates a change of clothing from sweating profusely. (Although this year we had crazy weather … it snowed twice or three times.)