Sister – Grand Canyon
When my sister turned 15, my parents sent her on a trip to America. The tour was operated by an organization associated with the church at which she had been learning English. When she came back, she beamed with excitement. No one in my family had been outside Japan before; even my grandfather stayed behind the border during the war. She brought back the photos, and I looked at them again and again so I could recreate the image in my head.
I was particularly mesmerized by the pictures of Grand Canyon. My sister stood for a photo, and behind her was the canyon, looking like another planet in outer space. The vastness of the terrain and the spectacle of the layered thrusts of the earth entranced me, and I swore to myself that I’d see it myself someday.
About 25 years later, I lived in America and spent Christmas traveling to Grand Canyon. We hiked down to the bottom and stayed at the ranch, and hiked back up the next day. At the end of the hike, I stood at railings to wait for my friends and realized I was standing at the very spot my sister had taken a photo quarter of a century ago. Like other younger sisters in the world, I followed my sister around and did the same things as she did. The very reason I stood where she once stood was that she opened up the world before me. Looking at the crevice of the earth below me, I wondered at what point my life diverted from my sister’s.