Okusan's manner, in due course, began to work on my mood. After a time, my eyes relaxed themselves and were less shifty. My mind, I began to feel, was again rooted in the present. In short, by paying no heed to my jaundiced eyes and mistrustful demeanor, Okusan and the rest of the household did great wonders for my well-being. My nerves, with no feedback to vindicate their misgivings, gradually calmed.
Okusan was a woman of understanding, and it's possible that she consciously treated me as she thought I needed to be treated. Then again, it's also possible that she really did regard me as largehearted, just as she professed. My anxiety was a phenomenon of my mind, and it's conceivable that its outward expression was muted. Perhaps Okusan failed to see it.
As my spirit calmed, I grew close to the family. I came to converse with Okusan and her daughter. Some days, they would call me to their room for tea. On other evenings, I would bring home sweets and invite the two of them to join me. I felt that my sphere of social intercourse had suddenly expanded. To this end, precious time for study was whiled away. Curiously, though, I didn't rue the intrusion in the least. Okusan was a woman of leisure. Her daughter, however, had flower and koto classes on top of her schoolwork and should have been pressed for time, yet somehow never seemed hurried. The three of us, whenever the situation allowed, would gather together and enjoy each other's company.