I’ve been writing about the National Cherry Blossom Festival all week for work. Do you know the history? Japan gave us three thousand of them in 1912. The First Lady and the wife of the Japanese ambassador planted the first two in a simple ceremony. We reciprocated a few years later with flowering dogwoods. They gave us another three thousand or so in 1965, and in 1981 we shared with Japan cuttings from our trees to replace those they’d lost in a flood.
Now for two weeks every spring, Washington D.C. celebrates the National Cherry Blossom Festival to commemorate all that giving and friendship as well as the start of spring. This is a gorgeous picture of course (by ghbrett on Flickr), but you should see the ones framing the Jefferson Memorial or the Washington Monument. And just think how the pictures must pale in comparison to the real thing – just like the pictures of all our best things.
It’s been a very pretty, very pleasant thing to write about. But I keep thinking about one thing. How is it that right in the middle of all that giving, World War II happened? The Festival is said to commemorate the gift of the cherry trees and “the continued close relationship between our two cultures.” It’s difficult to fathom. How did we share all that love and then turn against each other so thoroughly during the War? And how is it that we can be friends at all now after what we did to each other then? Are the flowers just a show for something that isn’t really there?
This probably won’t surprise you, but I don’t have a point at all, or an answer. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about this week that is the springiest yet as if winter really, really has finally been booted from the year. That, and I wanted you to look at them – these gorgeous blossoms with the light hitting them so perfectly here and there. Maybe they’ll do for you what they did for me this week. I started it by working carefully at week two of a total tantrum. (Nothing big – just a one hundred sixty eight-hour Monday basically) Then gorgeous weather and D.C’s Japanese cherry blossoms appeared in all their glory and totally messed with my mood. This picture is in case you needed messed with too.
Happy, happy Easter. Sunday’s on the way.