Friday, April 2, 2010

Ritual of the Season

I went to see the cherry blossoms late yesterday. I walked down 18th Street, to 17th, past the dignified though scaffolded Old Executive Office Building, across Constitution to the Mall. By that point I was swept along with the throng. On we moved, past the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial, its fountains flying, to our destination, the cherry trees of the Tidal Basin. I try to visit every year, even when it's cold, even though it's crowded, even if I don't have time. This year's blossoming coincides with Easter and with the first truly convincing days of spring. There were old folks and babies, screaming toddlers and young couples. Walking the path I think about the circularity of seasons and the circularity of life. I've seen the cherry blossoms with my husband, my parents, my sister, my children (when they were those screaming toddlers) and other family and friends. This year I saw them alone. I snapped pictures and savored the scene. At one point a mild breeze blew, caught some petals and sprinkled them over the crowd. Now it isn't snow that's falling, it's cherry blossom petals. The long winter is over.


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