Hope feels like a small thing at the moment – the hard green apples waiting to ripen, the half-filled pea-pods. A domestic thing. I am narrowing my gaze, because the world feels too big, too precarious, and I feel helpless.
But perhaps that’s how hope always starts – as a green shoot coming up through the burnt earth, as a child folding a paper crane.
peace comes at twilight
green things growing silently
sun rising with hope
This is a haibun for dVerse. Frank is hosting tonight. He reminds us that last year we wrote about the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. This year, he wants us to commemorate that bombing, but to write about the hope that can emerge from tragedy.
I’ve just read “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki. She mentions the fact that Japanese schoolchildren folded 1,000 origami cranes for peace after 9/11. I was moved at how this connected back to the story of Sadako, who developed leukaemia after being exposed to radiation at Hiroshima. If there is hope, it is in the hands of children.
Whenever I see a Ginkgo tree, I think of Hiroshima. Six trees were growing near the epicentre of the blast, and all survived, and continued to grow, apparently undamaged. One grows in the graveyard in our local small town. The branches spread over a path that cuts from the main road to the town square. That path has been there for hundreds of years – I imagine the town has grown around it. It seems fitting that the Temple Tree has been planted so close to a church. I don’t know how long the Ginkgo has been there, but in the spring the leaves are like small green fans, and in the autumn they glow bright yellow. I can rarely resist picking up one of the fallen leaves, so unlike any other.
This is the most ancient tree of all, and yet it is reborn every spring. It’s a symbol of hope, and of the resilience of nature, thrusting down roots, pushing out leaves, changing with the seasons.
gold leaves in autumn-
winter branches bleak and bare –
green leaves in springtime
It’s haibun night at dVerse, and Frank is hosting. It’s also Hiroshima Day, and Frank asks us to remember the horror of the bombing there in our haibun. I’ve chosen to talk about the Ginkgo, a symbol of hope. You can read more about the Ginkgo here: https://kwanten.home.xs4all.nl/index.htm