Like a Shimabara (Okinawa Rose)

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On the gently sloping path leading to the house where I grew up, rosy pink heirloom roses are in bloom. I named those innocent flowers Shimabara Little attention is paid to them as they are so common, found everywhere in Okinawa.

However, since I was a little girl I've always liked them. I took them to school from time to time to appreciate their scent. I still love them. When the season comes, I cannot wait to send the scent of the Shimabara to my friends. The scent is indescribably pleasant and elegant. A really wonderful aroma.

The sweet-smelling buds of the Shimabara in our house garden burst one after another between December and April every year. After that they have fewer flowers, but still please me with different coloured flowers depending on the season and the weather.

Despite their lovely appearance, the Shimabara is in fact very tough, which attracts me to them very much. Even if they are damaged by a storm, stalks broken and leaves blown away, new stems grow and beautiful flowers open. Never giving in to Okinawa's intense sunlight or severe drought, they live on and grow new buds. It's especially admirable of them to stay alive, fighting against attacks by bugs. I admire them profoundly. I always wish to be like a Shimabara, to have soft and elegant aroma even under harsh circumstances.

Satomi Kurita