Cherry blossom bouquets
Bounce-sway in warm breeze,
Spring pink petals fall.
Writing a blog post with photos about cherry blossom season, is an act of memory and hope for me. Every time. A thrust forward into the near future with happy expectations of pink bursting-birth all over Vancouver.
And Nature delivers every spring. You’re never certain when the blossoms will start. This year a handful of cherry trees started in late February, along with a carpet of yellow and white daffodils in Kitslano. Incredible.
When I was in Seattle, I snapped up the book, The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe, a seasoned Japanese journalist. The book covers the effort of Englishman, Collingwood Ingram who develops his botanist love for cherry trees.
Such a love, that he became singularily devoted for most of his life, researching, raising and encouraging the cultivation of diverse cherry tree hybrids in Great Britain, North America (yes, Vancouver is mentioned) and ironically in Japan. Like his peers in the early 20th century, he and other
fellow rich landowning gentry, obtained from Japan and exchanged cherry tree cuttings with one another.
For a few decades in Japan, the cherry tree hybrid diversity, dwindled to one type, white and fast blossoming. Ingram becomes part of the movement to diversify Japan’s cherry cultivation back to what it was before.
The book also covers cultural aspects of cherry blossoms — including how cherry blossom motif was used as propaganda to promote the sacrifice of young Japanese war suicide bombers during WW II, whose died euphemistically, like falling cherry blossoms. It wasn’t until several decades later after war tragedies, that many Japanese could fully enjoy their own cherry blossom tree displays.
Today, there are more and more young and old in North America, who enjoy the fairy-like dancing cherry blossom boughs in parks and along some streets in Vancouver and other major cities. We have also enjoyed them in Seattle. I first experienced real cherry blossom power when I was in Washington DC several decades ago.
My heart springs gladly
Blushing shy amongst leaves,
Reveals warm flush of love-life.
Against mossy bark,
Behold tissue paper blossoms
Age-young delicate rests gently.