Mikiko Arai, a small farmer (and former WWOOF host) in Japan, and 7-year old Lumia are here for a few weeks stay. Displaced by the Fukushima disaster, they are taking some time in California to ponder their future.
I search for appropriate words to connect our guests, our comfortable lives here, and the Fukushima Daiichi tragedy. Only one degree of separation from a black hole of grief. We enjoy Miki and Lulu, share good conversation, laughter and inter-lingual jokes; they enjoy Kingbird and California - a return for Miki, who graduated from UC Berkeley, a first visit for bouncy, joyous, energetic Lulu. Small particulars transcend - or at least temporarily mask - disastrous contexts, and the uncertainties that they've left behind and will have to return to. Lulu, trained to run from rain, had trouble appreciating that Tuesday's significant precipitation here did not carry the same kind of risk as in Japan.
Miki knows small farming and is a competent and vigorous worker. Lulu is a remarkably able assistant, and has learned via seed spacing the general difference between senchime-toru and inchi. Here they help with harvest of potatoes.