I've been thinking a lot about perspective, lately.
I've been thinking about the things I first noticed when I came to Japan - the things that mattered to me - and the things that I notice now.
When I first set foot in Japan, my heart was elsewhere. My attention was placed upon my previous life in America, and my eyes fixed on the strange differences of this foreign land.
Now, I call this place home.
And the things I notice change.
Instead of focusing on what my grocery store lacks, or what American conveniences I am without on the other side of the world, I find myself seeking out little joys.
I find my eyes searching and noticing quaint characteristics of this place. Now that change may be looming on the horizon, and my time here is counting down to an inevitable end, I find myself clinging to every small detail.
I've taken pictures of the craziest things - like the Japanese coffee creamers I love, and the ancient doors nestled in tiny neighborhoods. I catch myself staring at the faces of my sweet Japanese friends, trying to memorize the lines in their smiles - the moments of laughter over multi-lingual conversations. I try to memorize the friendly acquaintances that have so quickly become dear friends.
I think about how I'm going to miss my Japanese coworkers.
I think about the huge hug one of my "lifeguard fathers" gave me upon returning from America last week, and the look of utter joy on his face. They were all so genuinely happy of my return, and they brightened the sad situation that brought me to the States in the first place.
I think about the day when I won't return to my Nihon home.
The day when I say "see you later" for a while.
The day when I set sail again.
And I am forced to have faith.
Because I am brought to the realization that the same God who brought me across the world, through discomfort, and to one of the most satisfying seasons of my life, is the same God who will set my feet to new adventures...who will prove himself unimaginably, yet again.
So I notice the little things.
But not with a melancholy sadness that comes with leaving a well-loved place. No. Rather, I savor the small joys with a smirk on my face. A smirk brought on by the knowledge that this adventure is only a taste of things to come.
And that, my friends, is enough to allow me to live in the present.
So for now, I smirk. And I savor.
And I have faith.
I have faith in the adventure of the present, and the unknown journey ahead.