The day before we bought our house in Hawaii, we went to a farmer’s market in Hilo, where a pleasant young man was selling organic honey, and not just any organic honey. It was hard to get my head around the concept of Java Plum Blossom organic honey. Do such things really exist outside of fairy tales?
We had discovered organic honey a few years ago. There’s a store nearby that specializes in it, all different sorts from all over Japan. It is impossible to describe how wonderful it tastes, especially if you try it side-by-side with supermarket honey, which by comparison tastes like engine grease. It’s not unlike the difference between the joyous explosion of citrus magic that comes from a lemon and the chemical-infused gunk that comes out of a plastic lemon, despite the adorable packaging.
So we brought our treasure back to Tokyo and savored it over the next months, parceled out from the mother ship into my Peter Rabbit Kewpie mayonnaise jar.
I’ve never met a rabbit that eats mayonnaise, or honey for that matter, so I’ve never really understood why Kewpie chose Peter. It makes about as much sense as a bunny bearing chocolate and colored eggs at Easter, but like the plastic lemon, the jar is just so darned adorable that I’ve kept it for years and years.
And now I’m packing up and moving halfway across the Pacific Ocean. I don’t want to carry the honey back to where it came from, so I gave it away. But I couldn’t give up Peter.
I am astonished at the things I feel I have to keep. I’ve painlessly given away so many things, but am faced with a pile of special somethings that just don’t want to fit into my suitcase: the plastic, now-retro toothpick dispenser, the coffee can I’ve been using forever, the miniature whisk we used to make kitten formula when Plato and Dana were babies. It’s really just a bunch of junk but it feels like leaving these things behind will be leaving little pieces of me scattered across the trash heaps of Tokyo. I’ve had six long months to come to terms with this loss, and have been vehement about not wanting the lovely Hawaii house to be cluttered, but here I sit, paralyzed with indecision.
Just as I don’t want to abandon my bits of nonsense, I find it difficult to let go of Tokyo Tales. This will be the last one, the tail end of the tales, if you will. It has been a journey full of both delight and distress, a source of invaluable catharsis for me, and I thank each and every one of you for sharing it with me.
With a bit of effort and a dusting of luck, we will begin again, a new home, a new life, a new jar of honey.
Aloha and mahalo.