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Letters From Akiha, 1

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3 weeks ago

Dear Fred,

The leaves changed fast up here in the north. I visited Tokyo just last week and many of the leaves had barely changed at all. I knew Tokyo was behind as far as kouyou season was concerned, but didn't realize the dramatic extent of the gap. Not that it is a problem. It is natural after all.

But so many things feel rushed this year, and as if I am missing them. They don't wait for Thanksgiving anymore even in the states to put up the Christmas decorations. It's right after Halloween, so all the so-called seasons just blur together and you can't really find yourself enjoying any one of them.

Needless to say, when I got back over the mountains, I was shocked to see the amazing palette of colors that had developed and so many leaves already on the ground.

I got out for a run today to make sure I didn't miss it. The colors, that is. A beautiful, warm, November day. Since the shadow school has begun its proliferation, it's hard to feel like I am keeping up with my own life. And time flies by faster and faster. Seemingly even faster than when the shadow school was not yet unveiled, and people called things "normal."

Well, Fred. I've got to go now. But the leaves did look beautiful today against the brilliant blue afternoon sky. Send my love to Fran and the kids.

-Charles

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