On Friday, one of my fellow sensei's at Ohata took me out on Friday, around the back of the school, down a hill, over a gully and into the wild. Like with many things in Japan, I didn't understand why we were going but I was game for any adventure. Along the side the hill, thick with a medley of wild plants, was a beautiful white lily with hints of pink near where the stem meets the base of the flower, and bursting from the center, bright red seeds.
As was explained to me, this was the Sasayuri, a special wild lily that only grows in Japan. Perhaps more solid, yet more ephemeral than Sakura blooms, the Sasayuri is only blooms for two days out of the year. I was there for the first of the two days. I can't even begin to say what an amazing experience this was, one of those thoroughly surprising things that makes it clear why I wanted so badly to go to Japan. Seeing this flower is something that could not only have not happened for me in the States, but something that could not even have happened for me next week here in Japan. I feel incredibly lucky both for the timing and also that my sensei thought about this and cared enough about me to take me on this trek to see the flower(s). It's even more fortunate because this particular flower, as she explained to me, is being picked into extinction.
These brief, brilliant moments define my life here. And what a life!
For more of Vash's adventures at home and abroad, check out: http://vashabroad.blogspot.com