Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Sojourn - Sakura (Cherry Blossom)

"Live here on earth, blossom! As you move and shake, flowers fall. My flowers are eternal; my songs are forever. I raise them, I, a singer. I scatter them, I spill them, the flowers become gold; they are carried inside the golden place. Ohuaya ohuaya."
- Nezahualcóyotl (1402-1472, ruler of Texcoco, now Mexico City
 from display at Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.

Sakura, Digital photograph, Reya Mellicker, 2011

I had the good fortune to visit my dear friend, Reya, in Washington D.C. just two weeks ago at the height of cherry blossom season. Another dear one, Linda, traveled from her home in Oklahoma, and the three of us experienced the beauty together. I 'm still reeling from the enormity of it all.  What an extraordinary display, and what healing time it was for me.

Here's our walk around the Tidal Basin (which, itself, covers 107 acres). It turned out to be quite a hike, which Linda  later affectionately dubbed the "Cherry Blossom Death March".  Trust me, it was worth every blister!

As we walked down East Capitol and the profusion of blooms came into view, it produced a sort of 'cherry blossom euphoria', as you can see by the looks on our faces.

"Frothy!" proclaimed Linda...and who wouldn't be euphoric upon seeing this?


Photo by Reya Mellicker

I even admit to tasting one of these beautiful was spicy and pungent.

At the end of our sojourn,  Reya went to the water's edge to dance shamanically among the blossoms.

 Photo by Linda Van Treese

It was a graceful and beautiful way to give thanks for an unforgettable experience, and to say goodbye to Sakura, the cherry blossoms.

The music selection for today is the beautiful traditional Japanese folk song, "Sakura, Sakura". There are dozens of renditions, from those using ancient tradititional Japanese instruments, to modern jazz arrangements.

I selected this version, an original arrangement for piano created and performed for you by Masashi Yamanaka. His arrangement is a heartfelt depiction of the tiny yet magnificent flowers. When I listen, I can see the blossoms as they come into full bloom, flutter on the trees, and fall to the ground. Enjoy.

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