From Hiroshima to Hope, 8.6.2013
68 years from the day the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, Japan, the annual Hiroshima to Hope event was held at Seattle’s Greenlake. The main event is the lantern ceremony – Toro Nagashi (灯籠流し) – where visitors and residents float their paper lanterns out onto the lake in a prayer for happiness; peace; for the respite of those recently passed and those that remain only in faded memory.
As dusk falls, a sea of golden lights arises…they bob up and down to the rhythm of the waves, waves that lap at the feet of young children who gingerly place lanterns into the water; at the feet of dogs who have gone for a dip in the cool waters; and at the feet of families who come to enjoy a beautiful summer evening in one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. All the while there is a certain silence and pondering – a sea of unanswered questions, a sense of uncertainty about the future. I close my eyes and hope, pray, that we learn from our history, that we strive to live in harmony with the people and the world around us.
Then I open my eyes, focus, compose, and snap a photo. I’m back to the world. At least, for one more day.