Memory of a fragrant olive

In the region of Japan where I grew up, October is the season of fragrant olives. Wherever you walk, you’ll encounter their subtle sweet fragrance and their pale orange blossoms.

When I was about nine or ten, there was a period when I walked to school just by myself. As the autumn arrived, I felt delighted to find the fragrant olives on my way to school, often stopping to inhale their wonderful fragrance. They were one of my favourite flowers on the earth.

One morning, I saw three girls walking ahead of me. They were the girls two years older than me who lived close to my house and always went to school together.

One of them, who was always lively by nature, stopped in front of one of the fragrant olives and called the attention of the other two girls. Behind them, I also slowed down, secretly delighted that somebody else also paid attention to my beloved fragrant olives.

She smelled the flowers and exclaimed what a good fragrance that was. I couldn’t agree more.

Then seeing that the other two girls were not so interested, she took a handful of flowers from the tree and threw them upon another girl’s head. They showered on her head like confetti. It was a beautiful scene.

The girl who received the confetti was slightly annoyed, and started to walk. The lively one chased after her with another handful of orange flowers.

Soon, they forgot about the fragrant olive and started to talk about something else.

But for the rest of my trip to school, I kept thinking about that fragrant olive. How the girl threw the flowers in the air and how they showered like confetti.

To this day, I still think about that morning. As I recall the tiny orange flowers and their sweet fragrance spreading in the air, I hear the girl’s exuberant voice echoing through the street.