Dust in the Wind
The cherry blossoms bring in the tourists. Every March, eager visitors with heavy footprints and sparkling eyes join the swarms of bees around the sakura blossoms. They laugh under the shade of the flowers. They tread on winter’s forgotten remains. They take pictures and pictures, trying desperately to immortalize the moment. Then they fly away. They miss the magic, the sakura dancing through the air.
But we’re still here, watching as the petals float off of their branches. And we have a saying:
Mijikai kara, utsukushii.
Because it is fleeting, it is breathtaking.
And as the seasons change, petals are replaced by quivering snowflakes that melt on our tongues. Fresh swarms of bees chase us back inside, so we run home. And we stay there, watching as shivering flower buds form from the snow.
The sun has already risen when we step outside. We watch the last of the bees disappear into the air, leaving behind flushed flowers, peonies that bloomed in the dead of night.
And through the snow they stand, quiet and solemn, ushering in the new year. And as the frost on their petals begins to drip down their stems, they brace themselves for what is to come. But before the next wave of tourists tramples them into the dirt, we watch the peonies sparkle in the sunlight.
And we have a saying, but we never say it—
Our breaths have already been taken.