The camellias and magnolias are all out.
Traditionally in Japan, camellias and magnolia are said to stand for perseverance : the red camellia the flower of the warrior – it represents a noble death.
As I stood underneath this magnificent tree in a local park, with its lulling medicinality , I thought about the situation in Ukraine and how harrowing it must be there.
I was surprised, also, to see an anti-war sign put up outside someone’s house – a very rare sight here, though it is true that I have seen protestors at stations carrying placards and people wearing face masks in yellow and blue in support : the revulsion and rejection of so much of the world very deeply palpable. Despite the ongoing atrocities, it gives me a vague sense of optimism.
May this conflict be resolved as soon as humanly possible.