The Beauty of the Blossoms


Having spent most of my winters in New England, spring has always felt like a true time of rebirth for me after those long winters. I remember year after year, that feeling of relief when the first early-blooming perennials began to poke through the long-frozen ground, bringing much-appreciated color to the grayish-brownish palate that I had endured over the past several months. And I would make my annual pilgrimage to the local clam-shack on the water to enjoy whole belly clams while sitting outdoors in the fresh salt air. It made me feel alive and awake, as if I were coming out of hibernation. Since moving to the DC area, I found a new springtime ritual—my annual visit the Tidal Basin in to view the cherry blossoms (I took this photo a few years ago). It is my favorite part about living in this area. Each year (except this year and last), the blooms have been celebrated with a festival commemorating the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the District from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo in 1912. Besides the breathtaking beauty of the delicate pink blossoms lining the paths around the Tidal Basin, I always took heart in seeing hundreds of thousands of people of all ages, from all around the world, gathered in serene awe of their fleeting beauty. During the 2011 cherry blossom season, just after the devastating Tsunami in Japan, I was walking toward the Tidal Basin, reflecting on the beauty of impermanence when Jessica Gould, a reporter for the local NPR station stopped me. She was doing a short piece about the trees and the significance of their meaning at that time in history. You can listen to it here.