Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cherry Blossoms Again

One month has passed since a great earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, leaving around 150000 people forced to live in evacuation shelters as of now. Aftershocks of the quake are still  rocking devastated areas and people. At the site of nuclear plant, progress is slow in restoring cooling system and containing radioactive materials released from the plant despite the desperate efforts of the people involved. 

However, at this time of confusion and trouble, the season never forgets to come around. Cherry blossoms are at their best now everywhere dyeing the air with soft-hue pink. They are simply genuinely beautiful. They look exuberant with joy of life. They are a requiem for the casualties of the disaster including missing people,  prayer and  hope as well to see us through.

Cherry blossoms at Sewari Bank, where three rivers (Kiso River, Uji River and Katura River) join to become Yodo River.

Many of evacuees are struggling to come to terms with their distressful losses, everything from loved ones to homes, jobs and yet trying to step forward. The thought of harsh reality lying before them makes me or us feel sober. They will need much more helping hands mentally and materially from government, specialists to grass root’s level as soon as and as much as possible.

The pledge for fair play at the national high school baseball championship held in March after the argument of whether it should be held or not, (high school baseball championship is a very popular event nationwide, held twice a year) was an unusual and very moving one. I happened to hear that in the car on my way to visiting my mother; “Many of us were born in the year the Great Hanshin Earthquake occurred sixteen years ago. This year the disastrous earthquake and tsunami claimed lots of precious lives again. Our hearts are filled with sorrow…All people are doing their best working together with friends. We believe people will overcome great difficulties by being supported by friends. What we can do now is to play the game as best we can. We pledge to compete fairly with all our strengths and all our hearts, with appreciation of being alive”

This message made by a captain of a high school baseball team connected to lots of people and encouraged them at the stricken area. This feeling that we are connected and supported is very encouraging and gives energy to go forward. Like so many other people, I’d like to play a part to help them if there’s something I can do. Though right now all I can do is donation and go over my life-style.

They prompt me to think back on my lives on each occasion and jog memories of the year that has gone. Last year I saw them with a friend pushing her wheelchair. She is not here anymore but I feel sure she is looking at the same cherry blossoms. (To You)

From the universe, I wonder how this situation looks.
 It's just in the course of nature?
Cherry blossoms seem to be reaching Tohoku area. People even at the stricken area are planning to have flower festivals spontaneously. I am very happy to hear that. I sincerely hope cherry blossoms are cheering and lightening them up to keep looking  forward.

Now Mt.Yoshino in  Nara, a part of World Heritage Site, is full of cherry blossoms. Here from Kamisenbon, the roof of Zaodo ( national treasure, the second largest wooden structure next to Todaiji Temple) is seen in the middle of right side of this picture, if you have a good eye sight.

Cherry Blossoms seem to be more meaningful and encourageous to Japanese people this year by reassuring that the ability to regenerate is inherent in every living thing. By the the time we see them next year, I pray Japan will have resumed its vitality.

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