February 21, 2010

A Nice Bouquet of Thoughts

Recently, as I crested a hill that overlooks Hiroshima on my normal morning commute, I encountered a vista so arresting I had to pull over and take it all in. The temperature was low, just caressing one degree Celsius, but the crisp and invigorating air emphasized the cloudless blue sky in a way I’d never internalized before. The hills that ring the city were still shrouded in shadows but the morning sun cast a brilliant light over the city center; think of a horseshoe shape with a warmly lit core. The gleaming sunshine seemed to shock the city into motion. And the frigid bite of February made the scene all the more vivid.

Usually I’m not overly sentimental about these kinds of daily scenes. But we were granted this weather for several days in a row, which prompted me to write this post in karmic appreciation. Here’s another shot of a setting sun taken near the Kanon Marina outlet mall...a moving canvas that we took in for a few minutes.
These two photographic bookends are testament to the kind of weather we had for the first half of the year’s most awful month.

It’s no secret that I detest winter: I have grown to hate the cold despite my citizenship and upbringing-–the resilient, plucky Canadian’s acceptance of what cannot be changed. This year’s winter in Hiroshima has been a pleasant surprise. It was so unseasonably warm on February 7 we were able to comfortably have a BBQ by the sea near the Prince Hotel. Elena could play in the sand, bathed in the afternoon sun. Now how could anyone complain about that kind of weather in wintertime, for Pete’s sake? On Valentine’s Day, we enjoyed a family outing at a flea market, roaming around randomly, listening to a trio of women playing 1970s rock ballads as background noise. I haggled with the some of the stall keepers over a few hundred yen for camping items we’ll use in a few months’ time. There was no sense of urgency at all, because no frosty chill could force us to hurry.

There is no Elena news, cultural insight or philosophical meanderings in this post—it’s just been a nice few weeks in what usually is a dark, cold spell in the calendar. And no snow! We’ve been lucky, which is why I felt I should pen this celestial love note to Mother Nature. Keep it up, old girl.

1 comment:

Ms. Lilley said...

I love this story. Having been in Hiroshima for only two years, I can vouch for the fact that Febuary is truly the most dismal of the Hiroshima months. (I think I sat shivering under the kontatsu in my damp apartment for the entire month watching every episode of Twin Peaks consecutively...only making matters worse, really.) I could tell other stories...but I digress. Luckily February gives way to spring and cherry blossoms are on the way...making us appreciate spring all the more. I am so happy to read this great story about some wonderful weather and being able to see what is beautiful beyond the regular last stretch of winter. You could never have got these great photos hiding in your apartment like me. Beautiful writing.