Twice a week I do my laundry, so twice a week I have to open the door of my “patio” to hang my laundry out to dry.

Since I’m on the first floor, my patio door opens almost directly into the apartment parking lot. No fence, no decorative shrubbery. I could open my patio door right now and kick the car parked in the spot right behind my room.

I never have, but I could.

So, at least twice a week, I look out into the parking lot, or at the car blocking my view of the parking lot, while hanging my laundry out to dry.

At a festival last year, I received a paper whirligig for free after asking a shop owner how to say “whirligig” in Japanese. I’ve since forgotten the word, but I still have the whirligig she gave me.

My prefecture is known for its “empty wind,” which can take over drying clothes for the sun when it won’t come out, but probably would not do any favors for paper whirligigs.

A sturdy plastic rainbow one was my answer. I put it in a pot with some strawberry seeds that had refused to grow.

Sometimes the wind steals my laundry, and a parking lot can look a lot like the reflection of a starless sky, but my whirligig turns and turns and turns.

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