Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cherry Blossom

I saw a photograph of cherry blossoms in the newspapers today in an obituary for Sendai, and thought that tea and cherry blossoms are what I imagine are archetypes for Japan. While the world crumbles, and tomorrow seems an abstraction, there will be some images which remain in our memory even as we atrophy with age, waiting for our turn. I saw cherry blossom in Belfast,  in 1997, early spring flowers, which lined the avenues. Northern Ireland had chosen it as their favourite flower for pedestrians, and for those who glimpse it from fast driven cars. The colour remain in one's mind for ages, because the flowers are fragile and lovely. Two months later, I saw a keepsake of a cherry tree,  for it was in a public garden in London, near King's Cross, where there was a monument to Mahatma Gandhi, and people left bouquets of flowers there, out of love and respect. There was a cherry tree in the corner of that garden, which was dedicated to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and in the breeze, the petals of the cherry blossoms would fly this way and that, as summer crept in.

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