Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees. ~Pablo Neruda
Cherry madness is passing quickly here in Washington DC. The gnarly black trunks started blooming at least a week ago. When I was there today it was clear they were past their peak, though the official biologist, who revised his prediction at least twice, dug in his heels and stuck with a date that coincides with the Cherry Blossom Festival but is not in alignment with what's going on with the trees. I can only imagine the arm twisting and political intrigue that kept him for saying what must be clear to everyone. My, my. We can't upset the visitors here for the festival. I guess!
I wouldn't miss it - I mean the annual ritual of walking round the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season. It's always a beautiful landscape, but when the cherries bloom, it becomes unworldly, exotic. Wandering beneath the ring of cool pink fire, next to a peaceful body of water, cleanses and heals, gently burns away any energy you don't need. If you've never seen them, please know: you should. If you live here and don't go down, how sad! A walk around the basin lifts the heart, opens the mind, brings inspiration and creativity. It helps everything. What are you waiting for?
It was alien, exotic, beautiful - and weird - down there today. It's WAY too early for the trees to have passed their peak. Most years it happens between March 25 and April 8. The peak usually is fairly predictable, or was anyway. The trees felt kind of drunk to me, the afternoon drunkenness that follows a few too many glasses of wine with lunch. It's fun, but the rest of the day and evening are shot.
Due to the very weird vibe, I wandered somewhat astray from my usual path around the basin. I was drawn to walk next to the river instead of completing the circuit as I usually do. There weren't too many people by the river, and too I LOVE the Potomac. Jake and I walked there often when I still had my car. He loved that particular strip as much as I did.
It's my practice to eat a blossom or two. I know I'm not supposed to, but it always seems right. Ordinarily the blossoms taste like a sour version of Vicks 44. The cherry taste is there, but no sweetness. Today's blossoms were so bitter I actually could not consume them. I felt my mouth shriveling as if I'd eaten a persimmon, had to spit them out.
Please don't ask me if that means something. I thought about it but have no idea. Do you?