Desert Exile

Lange

One day a neighboring woman rang our bell and asked for one of Papa’s prize gladiolas that she had fancied as she passed by. It seemed a heartless, avaricious gesture, and I was indignant, just as I was when people told me the evacuation was for our own protection. My mother, however, simply handed the woman a shovel and told her to help herself. “Let her have it,” she said, “if it will make her happy.” (Yoshiko Uchida)