Last night I lay on my bed like beached whale for three hours before my bedtime, too tired to do anything productive but too wired to fully relax. So I just lay there, my body limp like a wet towel but my mind thinking, thinking about the rain hitting the window and how the crappy, schizo weather we’re having reminds me of the chilly, windy gothic city at the end of the world that I called home for two decades. I felt some pangs of longing, some disorientation. And holy crap, it’s now May – a significant month because it truly marks the end to the never-ending Korean winter. It’s a time of celebration as beautiful lit lanterns are hung all around temples and all through the city. It feels tranquil and reminds me that I live in Asia. It’s also the month of my birthday, which gets scarier every year. And then there is an annual Capoeira event- fun, but exhausting. And there is work to do. So much work to do. The finish line is in sight but there are many hurdles to jump over. There’s no time to trip or fall down. It’s a marathon not a sprint, but the race must still be run. Then there is a new language to get my tongue around and daunting application forms to fill out, invasive medical tests to undertake in an effort to weave together the threads of the net that (I hope) will catch me when I move on. There are unused meditation apps and gym memberships. There are emails and phone calls and yelling and throwing things as I fight to get a large sum of money back. And against the backdrop of day-to-day life is the tragic sinking of a ferry resulting in the loss of hundreds of young, innocent lives. There is intense anger and trauma all around but life goes on. There is the meeting of old friends from abroad with their gossip, good news of milestones being met (houses bought, babies born), and the question of is it better to light a candle than bemoan the darkness? While the rain keeps falling, the flowers are still blooming, the transience of the stunning yet whimsical cherry blossoms have given way to the less subtle fuschia and ivory white flowers that bloom along pathways and around fountains. The mossy green forest behind my apartment and its little Buddhist temple is a respite from the world, a chance to reconnect with nature, a place to just be and a reminder to keep walking forward.