A Change of Seasons in a New Land
translated by Aung Aung Taik
My very first trip to America was in 2007 to participate in the International Writing Program held at the University of Iowa. Here I am, again, in America for the second time. I arrived the second week of March 2009 as a writer in residency at City of Asylum/ Pittsburgh. On this trip, I was allowed to bring my family with me, including my artist husband and two sons to live together on Sampsonia Way.
The plane ride from Rangoon to Pittsburgh, with layovers at various airports, took almost forty hours. When we left Burma, the March heat was in full might. When we eventually reached the Pittsburgh airport, the lingering winter suddenly drilled in our veins. We, the children of a hot land, trembled from the unfathomable cold. My two sons suffered severe allergic reactions causing them to bleed from their noses and through their mouths.
About two weeks later, the cold noticeably waned and everything—including my sons—began to act better, feel better and look better. The beauty of spring warmly welcomed us with an amiable display. The naked branches of the trees started to bear fledging leaves. Other trees were exclusively covered with tiny buds. About ten days later, the buds blossomed, choking the trees with beautiful flowers.
Spring in Pittsburgh—it was an unforeseen wonder to my eyes.