natsukashii (懐かしい)


natsukashii (adj., Japanese) / Pronunciation: nahtzkah-SHEE
A small, ordinary thing that suddenly brings a fond memory flooding back to you. There is no direct English word for it, although it is often translated as "dear", "cherished", or "beloved".


Last month, I had to say goodbye to my little sanctuary by the sea. A beloved coffee shop had closed forever, and as I was sitting there on it's last day, trying to be calm and accepting, I saw the paper cranes I gave them, neatly lined up along the windowsill, and I couldn't help but feel so very sad about it all. So many memories, gorgeous sunsets, and lovely people I met through the years. Sunny afternoons spent reading, writing letters, gazing out towards the sea.

I wrote these lines, from a poem by Tomas Tranströmer, over and over again:

Suddenly it turned dark as in downpour.
I stood in a room that held every moment -
a butterfly museum. 


  1. oh man, I love that bit of poem

    and how beautiful - to have had such a place at all

    1. I know, I should just be grateful to have had such a place for 8 years. But letting go of places we love is always hard. Sigh.

  2. I was just thinking of the concept of natsukashii yesterday in the bus back home.

    It's always hard to let go of places we hold so dear.

    1. Amelia, when I was learning Japanese, I always tried to find a way to use natsukashii in our conversations. :)