The Walk – Part X – Promises Kept

Several years ago, I had the privilege of reviewing the application for licensure in my state, a Japanese engineer from Fukushima, transferred to a branch of his company here in the States. After a rocky and difficult beginning, he finally realized and accepted what must be done to complete the process. After a time, he asked me to lunch because of the gratitude he had for the help I had given him. I told him I could not do that. he then asked, Would you go for a walk around the office park then, on your lunch break? I happily said yes because I had learned much about him and wanted to know more. He reminded me a great deal also, of a love that had come to an end when my Samurai returned to Japan. This began many walks and conversations on Friday of the weeks he was in town. I told him there were sixty-five cherry trees within the park and we visited them all. Our favorite place to walk and often sit and talk was under a few trees atop a small hill overlooking a pond. The series of poems about our friendship all begin with “The Walk” and the number in the series.

Spring day – cold, foggy, and grey
But clearing skies begin
Clouds running away
Yielding space to blue sky and sun.

Cool wind, the man and woman
Tug their jackets closely and
Walk to their place on the hill.
The small pond below is
Rippling in the wind.
The cherry trees are
Slowly opening their buds,
Unsure of spring.
They bloom here and there
In small clusters, still
Fearful of winter.

Pointing upward she said
“I told you they would
Bloom again.” He smiled.
“Do you always keep
Your promises?”
She smiled. “Yes. Especially
Promises about sakura and friendship.”
He glanced at
The branches of the
Cherry tree above. He reached
Up and pulled down a
Branch for her to better see.
The branch was full of blooms –
Pink and perfect.
They stood and gazed, rapt
At the beauty of it.
He looked down at her and sighed
And let the branch go.
“The blossoms are perfect.
All of them.”
He bowed to the tree.
He bowed to her,
Deeply with respect.
He touched her cheek.
He looked again at the branches
Above him with the blooms
She promised would come again.
He looked  into her eyes
And again, sighed.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grace
    Mar 26, 2015 @ 20:29:47

    What a wonderful story ~ I specially love this part:

    “The blossoms are perfect.
    All of them.”
    He bowed to the tree.
    He bowed to her,

    I can’t wait to see those blooms in the early days of spring ~ This is a series? I will check out the others ~

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 26, 2015 @ 20:35:57

      I will probably post a slide show of the trees in bloom. They are spectacular – pink and white, single and double blooms. This is the next to the last in the series. I may write a couple more, recalling our conversations, our walks, a picnic under the trees and a picnic under red maples. We enjoyed the seasons. He lost everything in the tsunami but he gained a friend.

      Reply

  2. Mary
    Mar 26, 2015 @ 20:41:35

    What a warm and touching piece! What wonderful walks and what a beautiful friendship!

    Reply

  3. Sabio Lantz
    Mar 26, 2015 @ 20:50:24

    Ahhhh , closeness!

    Reply

  4. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Mar 26, 2015 @ 20:59:01

    The Japanese culture is unmistakeable in in these poems. That you understand and practice it, is palpable. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Reply

  5. Tina Blackledge
    Mar 26, 2015 @ 22:11:53

    This is so beautiful, humble, delicate but strong and free flowing with love. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory.

    Reply

  6. Bryan Ens
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 00:30:49

    Absolutely love this series…especially as I understand that this is a true story, and that makes it all the more powerful.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 27, 2015 @ 11:45:09

      🙂 Very true! And still friends even though he was transferred to NC. when in town on business, we always get together and walk. We have a beautiful Japanese garden here in town and he is getting to know it almost as well as I. We have walked there in rain, snow, heat, spring….he is a good man and a good friend. he asked my husband to join us but he said no, that this friendship was what the two of us needed. Another good man!

      Reply

  7. claudia
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 00:55:27

    oh wow… what a wonderful walk – and even more when it’s just the first of many and the begin of what sounds like a wonderful friendship…

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 27, 2015 @ 11:42:28

      It is actually not the first. There are several more before it. It was a long road to get to that point where we began our regular walks but worth it. I look back in my mind at all those trees and wonder how you would paint them.

      Reply

  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 01:14:23

    I wonder if we shouldn’t have more cherry-trees around the offices, there is nothing better to give closeness and friendship.. I like the promise of Sakura and promises…

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 27, 2015 @ 11:41:05

      I totally agree. Imagine – 65 cherry trees! I walked around one day and counted them and noted the colors and whether single or double blossoms. You can see just a bit of them in the picture with the poem. I am wondering if someone Japanese or oriented that way designed the layout of the park. Not only all those cherries, but red maple for momiji gari in the fall. Wetland preservation regulations stated in such places, natural poolings of water that would occur had to be preserved. Not only several ponds but the plantings around them and much of the wild foliage and trees preserved in a way that is calming and blocking site to the different buildings so you felt as if you were in a quiet, country place. A jewel in the midst of busy streets, strip malls, businesses. And sakura promises are always kept. He lost everything in the Tsunami – friends, his home, the graves of his wife and son. Life was so bleak and here he was in a strange new country. He needed hope and the thought of those cherry trees blooming gave it to him. I do bless those trees for that.

      Reply

  9. Madeleine Begun Kane
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 01:22:01

    A lovely story, beautifully written.

    Reply

  10. andysmerdon
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 02:47:57

    Beautiful. I am envious of the relationship and of your ability to create such a powerful image for me. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply

  11. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 03:05:56

    A lovely and touching poem.

    Reply

  12. L Weaves Words
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 04:42:33

    Friendships like this one are precious. Happy for you that you have it and the way you shared it sprinkles some of it on the readers. Thank you 🙂

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 27, 2015 @ 11:28:20

      Thank you. It truly is a precious friendship. It has meant a great deal to both of us. My husband marvels at it because Takahashi at first was so…..stern and angry about the circumstances. When I found out he had lost everything in the Tsunami, I knew then how to deal with him differently, to help him. I was truly rewarded by his friendship.

      Reply

  13. tinkwelborn
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 05:09:06

    a beautiful story, poetically placed. it moved me with feeling.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 27, 2015 @ 11:25:51

      I am so glad! If you ever get interested, there are more poems about this friendship on my blog. You can do a search for “The Walk” and it should bring them up.

      Reply

  14. mishunderstood
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 12:23:48

    Friendship starts out carefully and eventually blooms….just like the cherry blossoms. This is beautiful. 🙂

    Reply

  15. Alex Dissing (@AlexDissing)
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 13:29:50

    What a great story – beautifully crafted!

    Reply

  16. Linda Kruschke
    Mar 27, 2015 @ 15:49:44

    A simply beautiful scene. Peace, Linda

    Reply

  17. billgncs
    Mar 28, 2015 @ 00:43:12

    you moved even my cold, hard heart 🙂

    Reply

  18. seeker
    Mar 28, 2015 @ 01:36:08

    He is so lucky to have found you as a friend and 65 sakura tree. And the sigh of the poem, makes me sigh as well. Sigh.

    Reply

  19. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)
    Mar 28, 2015 @ 05:35:15

    A lovely story, beautifully expressed.

    Reply

  20. Lisa Fazillah (@oceangirl415)
    Mar 28, 2015 @ 08:25:16

    promises kept, a beautiful walk
    http://livehigh2.blogspot.com/2015/03/i-drove.html

    Reply

  21. katiemiafrederick
    Mar 28, 2015 @ 15:02:47

    i once write a story.. that begins with a little disabled boy watering a sapling into a beautiful tree that will eventually inspire the love between a lovely shy woman and a man who does not know his potential growing a lush and everlasting garden.. by love of that shy lovely woman.. to eventually become a great national leader.. who saves the world with fearless love and courage.. going back to who is the true savior of the world.. the little boy.. or the tree of beauty where balance in nature blooms.. a butterfly effect and affect in NATURE AS GOD..

    BUT anyway.. i need to remember that for now.. so thanks and have a great now in buds and blooms of Spring In April where you live..for now.. and ever more..:)

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 28, 2015 @ 22:29:25

      Thank you! I think I am going to post a slide show of some of the photographs I took of the trees at the park so all can enjoy. Blossoms and blessings to you!

      Reply

  22. pandamoniumcat
    Mar 28, 2015 @ 23:56:35

    Lovely story, just so delicate too!

    Reply

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