It was 1945. At the hight of summer the atomic bomb mushroomed over Hiroshima. Near the epicenter of the devastation were six ginkgo trees. Ravaged by the nuclear weaponry, they fell lifeless in a pile of black, scorched timber.
An excerpt from the ancient lament of the Biblical character Job, a man who in one day lost all his possessions, children, and health, reads:
"For there is hope for a tree, when it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and its shoots will not fail. Though its roots grow old in the ground and its stump dies in the dry soil, at the scent of water it will flourish and put forth sprigs like a plant."
Next spring, as people of Hiroshima struggle in grief to rebuild their city, they noticed the trees. Although broken and visibly misshapen, buds sprout through the charred bark and begin to bloom.
As the same six trees still bloom every spring today, and they are a living reminder that despite setbacks, at the scent of water we can live anew and blossom. Our hope is something nothing can touch.