When I was a first grader, during science we learned about "Rapeseed Observation." After I became older, I hadn't known that "rapeseed" and "canola" were the same thing. I never thought the bashful canola plant, drifting in the wind, could be the same as the rapeseed oil ingriedient that bugs crawl all over. If our textbook had read "Canola Observation," maybe I would be one of those boys who actually liked science.
On a spring day I took the train from Osaka to Kyoto, and around Youtou station the side of the road was decorated with canola flowers. I stared out with my face against the window from the hot windowsill, on the railroad bridge in Chuushojima, and I knew the Uji River was flowing underneath. A patch of canola stretched out on one side of the wide bank of the river. It was like I wished for the river to go on, to continue to meander through the yellow carpet. In order to see the riverbed, I went to the middle of the lower car. Over by the river, in the middle of a road was a street for cars and a guardrail that crossed over, which had to reach all the way to the riverbank. If one were to go down to the riverbank, the dense rows of blooming canola would be so tall they would come up to his hip. There was nothing but a flower patch there. Along the brilliantly sparkling surface of the river, I didn't know how far the canola flowers continued, and I kept walking down a naturally made road which appeared to be only large enough for one person. Moreover, as I progressed down this road, on the other side the canola were even taller. Just then I realized that far off into the distance, they would be taller than my head. The canola wafted back and forth and continued to arch over the road. On that spring day, there was a sort of yellow halation overtop the labyrinth of flowers, and as I stood there I felt fulfilled. As I kept walking, little by little I came back to the place where the flowers were at hip level. Being in the midst of scenery like that was to visit the overlapping reality of relaxation and quiet. You can only experience these moments in the spring. It was a superb young ladies' outing of the highest caliber.
Translated by Curi