When photos come from my son and friends in Japan of the sakura celebrations (花見), I try to imagine myself among the throngs of people picnicking under the pink puffed trees, blossoms raining down in showers on their hair and faces.
We have cherry blossom time here in Washington state, of course. The state capitol campus in Olympia has its own sakura every April with decades old Japanese imported trees. Growing up in Olympia, we would actually have a field trip from grade school every year to walk on the sidewalks under the blooming sakura, eating our lunch pail lunches underneath, just for a little taste of Japan in the middle of a chilly Pacific Northwest spring. Be assured a Roy Rogers’ themed thermos of whole milk, an apple, and a tuna fish sandwich tastes better highlighted in a pink glow.
This year, the brief ethereal transcendence beyond the mundane must be sorely needed in Japan, especially now, not quite a month after the earthquake/tsunami. I hope it is inspiring the hearts and spirits of a traumatized people, helping them heal as they look up into the clouds of pink over their heads. And when the petals let go and fall in showers onto their heads and feet, it is as if heaven is blessing them in a baptism of blossoms.