Okinawa has come into the spring season. I have heard, “Spring has come,” but it has a different meaning in Japan than just blossoming flowers and warmer weather.
One of my friends from school told me that when a girl or boy got into a relationship, people would say this phrase. It’s the equivalent of “S/He is taken.”
At the junior high school I work for, I noticed these beautiful flowers growing inside a drainage well outside the school’s entrance. It was really rare to see these white flowers bloom so wonderfully in the darkest place. Some people are this way, too. In the darkest situations, people can bloom.
When I told another teacher about these flowers, he was quite surprised. “What? Did someone put it in there?” he inquired, showing his astonishment on his face. I pointed out the gutter before we both went over to it. We both stooped down to look closer at the white flowers. I think the same thoughts were going through his head. Did someone plant these here?
As we walked back, some eyes from the other teachers and students on us–“What were they looking at in their indoor shoes?”–I asked Hiroyuki-sensei if it was a common thing to have flowers growing in that place. “Oh, no, it’s not common,” he replied, still amazed. He turned questionable eyes on me. “Why? Does that happen often in America?”
I shook my head as we changed from our indoor shoes into our outdoor shoes. “No, but I had to ask,” was my answer. After I told him I took a picture of them, we briskly walked to class, almost forgetting about those precious and strange flowers along the way. I think even people, who have bloomed in complete darkness, are soon forgotten as soon as they’re discovered. The only time these blossomed people can even reach past the same depth of their darkness is to reach out of the gutter into the sunshine. I suppose that’s why the wallflower and the sunflower references in books and anime are commonly used. These flowers, though ignored, are still occasionally remembered in their existence at one point or another.
Unfortunate for these beautiful, pure flowers within the gutter, the tendrils of support from the sun and water runoff can’t make it reach out of its forgetfulness. I feel pity for these flowers for knowing that I will forget them sometime soon, so I stooped to take a picture, by myself, to capture it in my memory.