|Fleurs De Cerise (Cherry Blossom) - Oil on canvasEmile Vernon, 1916, private collection|
The Japanese cherry trees were given as a gift to the city of Washington, D.C. by the mayor of Tokyo, Mr. Yukio Ozaki exactly 99 years and two days ago, March 27, 1912.
That is so cool.
This trip has been in the works for several weeks now, and I thought it would be a fun frolic with a couple of girlfriends, laughing and walking in the warm D.C. sunshine, and taking hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures of the annaul spectacle of spring.
I had no idea what was in store for me.
I see now that it is no coincidence that these two trips, one to see The Graceful One perform last weekend, and one to dance among the cherry blossoms with my friends, were perfectly arranged to follow the death of my mother.
What was to be a celebration of a great performance turned into a chance to hold my child and grieve with her for the loss of her dear grandmother. To be able to be with her, see her for myself, and share tears and hugs and memories with her was healing therapy for myself as well.
And now, to have the chance to be among the trees and friends and art and music and all that is a part of Reya's city is healing beyond belief. Cherry Amour therapy, it certainly is.
In truth, the weather forecast calls for rain, but that's of little consequence to me. I feel that the three of us will be given all that is needed for our time together, be it rain, or snow, or sun. I'm extremely grateful to Reya for coordinating this.
I'm not bringing my laptop, and I won't be posting until I get home late Saturday. Instead, I'll spend my time marveling at the wonders of nature (in whatever form), the wonders of friendship, and the wonders of these great synchronicities we all get to experience every so often.
Today, I wish you your own version of Cherry Amour therapy.
The music selection today was very difficult. Should I go with something Japanese? (Truthfully, most of it grates on my nerves.) Something about cherry blossoms? (There are a few, but they're mostly love songs...too trite.) I finally decided to stop wrestling and choose something from my go-to guy, Chopin.
In honor of the predicted rain, I have chosen Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude in D flat Major, Op.28 No.15. It's the longest of all his preludes, and is a lovely study on the comfort of rain.
Chopin wrote this while he was staying at a monastery, convalescing from what we now believe was most likely tuberculosis. Chopin worried constantly about his wife and son, but playing the piano offered relief from the anxiety.
He was reportedly hypnotized by the sound of the rain on the roof one day, and wrote this prelude as a result. It's quite beautiful...listen for the repeating constant A-flat eighth notes pitter-pattering in the bass, sounding like the rain on Chopin's roof tiles and downspouts.
This version is played by my favorite pianist, Vladimir Ashkenazy. I love his tempo, his expression, and the way he allows the rain to wash over us all. Enjoy.