Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter Snow, Winter Sun

I woke up in the dark and opened the front door to find that everything had been covered in the finest powder snow. It was falling like thick fluff, and can you imagine, it was my first time in falling snow since I was 5 or so. The most incredible powdery snow, the kind that outdoor malls in Southern California try to achieve by blowing fine foam into the air, fell all day today.
For reasons that would be scoffed at by anyone who is from snow country, school was canceled (my school is on a "steep" hill and public transport didn't want to brave it) and so I spent the morning walking along the river near my house in awe of this stuff. Apologies for my naivete, but as a Southern Californian who has not had enough experience to teach me otherwise, snow has a magic for me. I spent this morning laughing like a child at the snow falling and the sound it made when I walked over it and the sound it made on my umbrella and how fluffy it was.

Too joyful to focus.
I never knew!
I couldn't get the best picture because there aren't too many old houses in my neighborhood, but there is something about how the snow settled on the traditional Japanese houses that was so incredibly beautiful and fitting. A sort of "yessss! I am in that calender picture of Japan" moment.
Views out my window.
Mmm, but it is absolutely freezing in my tin can house now, a freezing that my heater can't defeat. My usual tactics of sitting in the sauna for half an hour to ensure that my body heat doesn't drop before I get under the duvet have failed to save me and I am glad to also see this side of snow.
It seems like another world now, but on Christmas Eve there were tamales on Bates Beach.
And Christmas breakfast on the sunny deck.

Oh, to need a sunhat in December and a basket of cactus fruit!
Big Sur Beach walk at Jade Cove.

Real bacon, cinnamon roles, and salmon omelette in the sun.
Walking dogs on the beach. Walking dogs in the hills.
California, you leave me conflicted. I can never return without thinking "why did I leave?" And simultaneously, "I am leaving again."

The idea of California seems to be absurd to others - a warm sunny Christmas? But from here, bundled in all of my sweaters, contemplating how to best weatherproof myself tomorrow, this all seems absurd.


Mark said...

Hi Kelly
Your blog is fantastic. Very informative and funny too.

We (me, my wife and 2 kids) are coming to Kagoshima (from Australia) in March so the extensive detail about everything is v. useful.

Question (in case you know and are happy to reply): do kids in Kagoshima skateboard or rollerblade and is this allowed in public spaces? My kids want to know.



kelly-inkagoshima said...

Hello Mark!

To be honest I have never seen anyone skateboard or rollerblade in public and my guess would be that skateboarding isn't allowed. It seems likely that rollerblading would be allowed on walking and running paths.

There is a path and park alongside Kotsujigawa (Kotsugi River, which is near the central train station Chuo Station) that goes almost all the way to the see that is paved and level and perfect for rollerblading. There is also a path along the ocean.

I'll ask my high school students where they skate, sorry I don't do it myself so I don't have any info.

Please contact me with any other Kagoshima City or prefecture questions!

Mark said...

Hi Kelly

Thanks for your reply and offering into looking into this. That's useful info.

We'll probably have a few more questions but will try not to bug you too much.