If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino, never to vanish like the smoke over Toribeyama, but lingered on forever in the world, how things would lose their power to move us! The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty.
—Yoshida Kenkō, Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness) (Donald Keene, trans.)
A last dinner together with good friends. She hands me fabulous peonies cut from her garden. Their aroma is mono no aware. This pink beauty cannot last, the sweetness of the perfume is tinged with sadness. But such is the life of Navy families, now moving in or getting ready to move, or wondering how long we will stay. We ask, “How long are your orders for?” We wonder how long the perfume will last.
Au revoir mes amis…