Samantha’s trip to Japan had been nothing but eventful – immersing herself in the culture and ways of the Japanese. Yes, she would return.

And now, her she was taking part in the Tōrō nagashi. Her prayer, as she lit her lantern, was for her father. They hadn’t spoken in the 2 years preceding his death last week.

Watching her float sail, she hoped he could read her thoughts and know that despite all the angry words spoken, she had loved him dearly.

Back home, she would visit his grave and tell him all about her trip. Blinded by tears, she stood and watched.

©Vivian Zems

Friday Fiction with Rochelle

Tōrō nagashi (灯籠流し) is a Japanese ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns down a river; tōrō is a word for “lantern,” while nagashi means “cruise” or “flow.” This activity is traditionally performed on the final evening of the Bon Festival in the belief that it will help to guide the souls of the departed to the spirit world.