Satsumas in Autumn

An immigrant is not just a foreigner in her adopted countries, she becomes eventually as much a foreigner to herself. To whom lies her loyalty? To what language or faith or borders?

The view outside my window in London is of other people’s backyards, other people’s native or foreign lives. A white sun umbrella, clothes drying on a rack, plants in pots, a string of lights and voices of children floating from beyond the walls. Airplanes fly overhead every few minutes. I enjoy gazing up at their sleek frames against the colors of the sky. Sometimes they are close enough that I can read some letters and I can guess the countries they are from, sometimes there are letters on the underbelly, QATAR flies by often and yesterday I thought I saw an American flag on the tail of an airplane but the letters on the side of the distant aircraft seemed to spell out Korea. It was all very intriguing.

A neighbor stopped me on the road yesterday. She said she had met my husband and wanted to say hi. We crossed each other again later in the day and she talked some more, mainly about running to pick her four year old and being ready with a empty stroller to whisk her home. I will bring by satsumas to her house today, bright orange, plump with the promise of autumn, gleaming in a brown paper bag.