About two weeks ago back in Miami I started to get a bit nervous as my friends started posting about the wonderful cherry blossoms they were experiencing in Japan. I had to take a deep breath thinking that this could be the fist time since moving to Japan when I would miss the cherry blossoms.
On average, from what I have gathered, the blossoms arrived about 2-3 weeks earlier than usual. Would I miss the official arrival of spring as heralded by the tiny flowers? Fortunately for my mind’s grace and the powers greater than my own the little wonders continued to hang on after I had arrived back in Tokyo.
I desperately wanted to go out with the crowds on Sunday to catch the last of the weekend hanami (flower watching) parties but I was kept shut in by rain, cold, and jet lagged induced narcolepsy. The weather had cleared up substantially by Monday to the point where I was able to ride my cycle and explore the Ichikawa streets.
The crowds were already gone except for a small group of women and children here and there enjoying the last of the flowers. Retirees were still out with their tripods and ultra lenses waiting for that decisive moment, and then there was me. Stepping through the streets and temples with nothing but my little Ricoh GR.
I am thankful to the creator for allowing me to witness the spring with my eyes and heart. The coming of spring is special amongst all people. It is the beginning of the year that is commemorated with the keeping of passover in the faith of my ancestors. Here in Japan it is also the mark of the new year. The youth will start their new grades by the second week of april just as the last of the blossoms are drifting off the trees.
The blossoms signal new times. There are new hopes that blossom quickly that if one chooses to pursue will transform into fruit.