What a strange time to be away from New York.
As I have mentioned here before, every year from May to November Okinawa is in a heightened state of weather preparedness. We are constantly made aware of the weather condition, and the likelihood that a storm will pass within 72 hours. Storms are tracked and posted about (often ad nauseum) on Facebook. We bring in the chairs and the BBQ from the porch and put them back out sometimes multiple times each week. Some of the storms that we prepare for come, and some don’t, but either way, extreme weather is part of the spring/summer/fall state of mind here.
How unexpected, then, that the weather event most of us will remember in 10 years took place, not here, but at home.
I’m not sure I can really describe how it feels to be a dislocated New Yorker during this time of intense struggle for the city. Let’s just say that I’m sad – sad for the people who lost their homes, their property, their neighborhoods, their lives. And I’m sad not to be there. I’m also incredibly thankful that my family and friends are safe, and that my neighborhood emerged mostly unscathed while others did not.
Living out here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it’s easy to feel far from home. After all, as my niece Dafna says sometimes, “Doda lives in Japan. It’s very far away.” But at times like this, when all you want to do is hug your people and help clean up your city, well, it’s especially easy to feel disconnected. Yoni and I are thinking about all of you at home who are dealing with the aftermath of Sandy. Wish we could be there. Libi bama’arav, va’anochi besof mizrach.