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White Coral

The sky was deep blue and endlessly clear in the Izu Peninsula
All the way from Shuzenji to Doi Onsen
The car ran smoothly at a pleasant speed
Without anything in the opposite lane

About half way, the road widely curved to the left
The driver of our limousine taxi stopped the car
At the outer curve to take a rest

It was on April 18, 1968; 22 years ago
During our short honeymoon trip of 2 nights and 3 days
With little money

At the edge of the cape, a huge black pine rises high, and
The scene of a sacred figure of white porcelain, Mt. Fuji
Is just in front of our eyes filling our sight
To the left, the ocean expands widely
The straight horizontal line of dark blue splits the sky beneath our eyes
Deeply below our feet
White billows are broken against the precipitous rocks
What a magnificent view!

Near this place
There was a street vendor, an aged woman selling various corals
We bought from her a good sized white one of about a foot diameter
Wearing deeply waved folds

In the beginning, it was placed on the shelf in our entrance
Some time after
It was moved onto the book shelf in my study or
Onto the side table in our living room
But for some period
It was in the water of a glass tank together with small fish
Most recently, it has been on the pedestal of an old fashioned chair
In the corner of our living room

One day, some months ago
With a bang, the chair fell down, and
The coral rolled close to my feet
Fortunately I found that it was only damaged slightly
In such case
My daughter knows my shouting in a big voice, so
She said with a shocked look
"Oh! I made a mistake" watching my face
"It's okay, no problem, the place was wrong. I will change it later" I said gently.
Then I told her to put it back as it was and put the broken pieces into the water tank in the entrance

An attachment to an object exceeding more than 20 years seems to fade over time, to become a part of my body of no importance, like a member of one's family, there, untouched, without any particular care
But this incident moved me to clean the smudged surface of the coral untouched for many years
After washing it, I put the wet coral on the table in my living room and looked at it intently siting on the chair

The surprisingly beautiful transparent white light!
The deeply engraved intricate form of waves!
The complicated light and shadow!

This made me recall the scenes of 22 years and 2 months ago
At the time of our unexpected meeting with this coral, and
I just could not help shivering from a deep impression of
The result of the time accumulated by
The unlimited number of lives and deaths of corals
Exceeding millions or billions of years