Thursday 30 May 2019

Taking Flight

       by Wendie Lovell

a glass of sake with a green tea cookie

  “Con’nichiwa.” The Japanese lady at the entrance to Kanazawa Castle welcomes me with a smile and shows me where to leave my shoes. I thank her with a bow and a ‘manatee’ or see you later.
  I wonder around the impressive castle looking out at Kanazawa city and hear the nightingale sing in beautiful Kenrokuen Gardens below. Sunlight streams through the small slit openings of the windows. A sense of freedom lifts my spirit, not for the first time on this trip to Japan.
  Never again will I allow myself to be downtrodden, the life sucked from me. I breathe in the fresh air as I watch the birds and butterflies in the garden, free to roam. My spirit slowly returning after years of captivity.
  I make my way back to the entrance. The same lady is there. I sit down beside her desk to put my shoes back on and notice that she’s folding a piece of paper. My thoughts return to the piece of paper I left neatly folded on the kitchen table before I came to Japan.
  The lady finishes folding her paper and holds out a tiny paper bird in the palm of her hand.
  “Hold it like this and pull.” She shows me how to make the wings go up and down.

   “For me?” I ask with delight.

   “Yes, now fly!” She tells me.

   “Arigato!” I thank her, smile and bow again.
  Yes, I will fly.

About the author

Wendie had a short story published in CafeLit earlier this year. This second story was inspired by a recent trip to Japan.

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