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Cherry Blossoms

Cherry BlossomI am down in Virginia for a lightning trip, where I am staying with a very good, old friend. The weekend is beautiful, with temperatures in the mid-seventies and the kind of bright, blue sky that you never actually see in New York. Much of what I miss about Virginia is the endless sky that’s cribbed in only by the mountains – and I am getting a lot of that.

We went to see the cherry blossoms today, which I have not done since I was about eight years old. The cherry blossom trees were gifted to the United States by Japan in 1912 and, as an American born in Japan and raised in D.C., I have always felt a special kinship with them. The festival is largely ignored by D.C. natives because of the crowds, but at the beginning of April every year, I think about the trees and how lovely it is that a huge festival is put on because trees are blooming. I have not been in town for it in nearly a decade, but since I happened to be here at the right time, I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

The world is in bloom here. I forget how there are trees everywhere, even in the city and along the highways. There are cherry blossoms in shades from pink to mauve, dripping magnolias, Bradford pears and the white of the dogwoods. I didn’t have the names of these things when I lived here, because I had never grown anything. Now I am older, returned as a tourist, with a new appreciation and a greener thumb. It was a fine day, filled with the energy that spring brings. It is nearly appropriate that we are venturing towards the halfway mark of Camp Nanowrimo and that I am still on track, birthing my own characters, creating, blooming. Spring is here, with all that that brings. It is my favorite time of the year.

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