When I was in 8th Grade my English teacher, Mrs. Gleason, gave me a small volume of poems entitled: "SILENT FLOWERS: A New Collection of Japanese Haiku Poems." I love that little book and its poems. My daughters, born and raised in Japanese schools, claim that haiku "just don't work" in English. But these poems - though perhaps different than the originals - still speak to me. One of my favorites through the years has been this haiku of Issa's:
A world of grief and pain: Flowers bloom; Even then...
I often make a trip to Takayama in Miyagi Prefecture during the spring vacation. These photos were taken by a student friend in April 2008.
The beach there was hard hit by "the tsunami." My friend, who watched from her home high on the cliff, said it was actually 3 incredibly large tsunami - and then the water just kept sloshing for next several days. Many of our friends lost their cars, their homes, their possessions, their businesses.... Yes, there is grief and pain. But as I listen to this friend and others I realize that "flowers bloom; even then!"