Between the Black and White: Matcha spring

April 8, 2024, 11:43 p.m.

They say that spring is the best time. I agree. Yet there is a sense of unease beneath the bright and kind sunlight, an unease that is too difficult for me to decipher, or perhaps puts me in a position that I am unwilling to ponder and seek. Something is lurking within me. 

Determined to chase the steps of spring, however, I come to the Oval. Je marcher. The spring breeze supports me, lifts me and then passes me, warmly. I follow its direction closely, but nowhere is it to be found again. 

Lost and abandoned, I sink once more into the embrace of the grass. How soft and juvenile it is. It reminds me of the soft grass that I used to pet back in primary school many springs ago when I was young and they were younger. I remember watching each blade sliding through my fingers in amaze, listening to their secrets of growth and renewal, secrets that seemed so powerful and profound to my youthful mind that I believed them without a doubt. 

It is a miracle that I still remember those tales — pathetic, too, how I have to seek from my furthest memory to uncover shreds of lights. I am sure that there are many more ahead, if I could cease looking up or to the front. Perhaps I should find a better direction. What about a 4D world with perspective? Would the world become more delightful with additional dimensions? 

Memories of last spring pop up in my head. We are sitting on a rainbow-colored striped picnic blanket on the field, blasting out Uchis’s light R&B. The charcuterie board with spicy salami, cheese and pretzels. The hummus-flavored birthday card dipped with tomato sauce, two cans of Pringles, a box of nicely-decorated cupcakes, plates of Ritz and Cheez-It crackers idly laid out. 

She cuts open the pepino melon, spilling out the yellowish liquid. Shadows of butterflies dashed below us, frantically as if going to hide away from some enemies. I could taste a sense of fright, anxiety and excitement, a bit of excitement that is not too much — just enough to gently savor a spoonful of matcha ice cream, waiting for it to dissolve on my tongue.

I was holding a stick of matcha ice cream, meticulously licking and swallowing. The ice cream, unconsciously, pushed me into deep thought. There are a whole set of guidelines about how to properly eat an ice cream, especially a matcha ice cream. Some say that you should eat the outer peripheral first, while others say you should start from the top. I don’t know which one is better, or if there is a better method, but I cherish every drop of ice cream sipped into my mouth. With each lick, I felt a sense of peace wash over me, almost drowning me suddenly. It tries to remind me that even in the midst of uncertainty, there was still sweetness to be found. Ha, a little too sweet for me.

I favor matcha because it contains a little bitterness. It is just the right amount to remind myself of how sweet things are. Is this the same with spring? Coming and passing to show us the beauty and to take it away when we think we are entitled to it? 

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