September: When the small and humble come together to become magnificent and mighty
When I started thinking about what’s so special about September in Japan, the first things that came to mind were three obscure flowers that are nobody’s favorite. By themselves, they’re utterly small and forgettable. You might even be a little insulted to receive a bouquet of them on your birthday. But when they come together in great numbers—especially they way they do in Japan—they achieve an impressive grandiosity that rivals far more famous displays of beauty.
The next ho-hum bloom is also a traditional Japanese flower, and this one is famous for appearing for only a few days around the autumnal equinox.
But look what happens when a lot of them bloom together!
And as I was thinking about these humble flowers that achieve greatness in numbers, I couldn’t help but feel both sad and hopeful for us humans too. In Japan, lots and lots of ordinary people working together managed to turn a war-torn third world country into one of the richest nations on earth, and fend off a pandemic that has claimed far greater casualties elsewhere. If we could forget for just a moment that alone we might be toxic to rodents and dropping our petals, but together we could burst into glorious bloom, we too could make the world a better and more beautiful place for all.
And if you’re looking for a good escapist read…
Advance praise for The Last Tea Bowl Thief:
“If you like Japan and mysteries…this book should be at the top of your TBR list. It’s a masterful dual timeline mystery—the kind of book you stay up until dawn to finish.” —Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori mysteries and CLIMB