Part of USS Aquarius: Gravitational Anomaly

Remembering the Art of Bonsai

Makoto's Quarters
January 2400
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Aki entered her quarters, exhausted after the day’s shift. Per the captain’s orders, she instructed Ensign Sato to set course for the old Romulan Neutral zone, so there was not much to do but wait for their arrival.

She’d already slipped off her tunic before she could reach the threshold of her bedroom. She tossed it on the edge of the bed and then took a seat next to it, bringing her right leg up over her left knee, unzipped her boot and pulled it off from the heel allowing it to fall to the floor then repeated this for her other foot. She the euphoria she felt finally freeing her feet from the confines of her footwear was intense. to her, it felt like she had been in them for days.

She wanted to take a sonic shower to wash away the day’s headaches, but did not have the motivation to stand in place for the tens of minutes she would want. Instead, she finished disrobing and donned her favorite red and white thigh-length kimono with black and gold accents. “Computer, one cup of Ummon tea, ninety degrees Celsius.” she instructed as she fastened the tie around her waist, “And computer play Zen Garden from my audio library.”

Aki always enjoyed listening to older Japanese instrumental music to relax, and so did tea and working on her bonsai trees. She’d brought six with her when she boarded the Aquarius at the Devron Fleet Yards. Unfortunately she hadn’t had much time to tend to them with their mission. Grabbing her cup of tea from the replicator and her pruning shears from a nearby shelf, she went and knelt at the small knee high table by her sofa and began to tend to the first of three plants atop it; a small plant, a dawn redwood,  about thirty centimetres tall in a rectangular jade coloured clay pot.

She began to hum as she slowly manicured each delicate branch. Fond memories of her grandmother began to fill her once previously occupied mind. She remembered her grandmother teaching her the art of bonsai, sitting behind her, guiding her hand where to cut and where to tie new wires, sculpting each and every tree into a unique masterpiece. She missed her grandmother, and while it saddened her that she was no longer around, Aki grew up with the belief that as long as there were good memories, no one would ever be gone forever.

She suddenly realised it had been far too long since she had last stepped foot on the streets of Tokyo. Aki longed to visit her home city again. However, with her present deployment to the old Romulan neutral zone, it would probably be some time before that came to fruition. When we return to a starbase, I’ll talk to Tajir about taking some leave, she thought.

A couple dozen minutes had passed since Aki had begun and with a final snip of the shears, the little redwood was presentation ready. A sense of pride filled her heart knowing that she had not lost the touch. She looked around the room to find a spot to relocate the plant that would showcase its beauty. Nothing felt quite adequate for her liking, but then remembered believing the captain having an empty spot on his coffee table that was just yearning for a splash of colour.

I’ll give it to Tajir as a get well gift, she thought, picking herself up off the floor and then the tree from the table, cradling it in her arms before heading out to the captain’s quarters.

Comments

  • Lovely little character piece that gives us an interesting insight into the myriad different pastimes Starfleeters get up to after a hard day's fleeting. Definitely captures the mental release and meditative aspect to an art like bonsai. Very much enjoyed!

    April 14, 2022