Spring Sprang Sprung

The weather can’t make up it’s mind. Two weeks ago we were hitting the low 70s–and last week I wore a cardigan downtown and shivered so hard I gave myself a headache.

But I should be excused for my precipitate joy, because the cherry blossoms came to town, and that means Spring.

Nate and I went walking one evening back in March, when the blossoms were just thinking about making an appearance:

012066 091The sun set at just the right time. The cherry blossoms come out before the leaves do, so all the rest of the trees, except for the evergreens, are still bare.

And Nate took his camera along on a run a week or two ago:

007 009The forsythia are starting up…my favorite.

And last week Nate was showing some friends around the city and snapped this:

026

This week we’ve had rain with a side of chill, and the blossoms are all fallen. But the azaleas are starting in, and at work there’s one tree, a late bloomer, that I’ve been waiting out. I plan on snapping it tomorrow morning.

The best things about cherry blossoms: how delicate the blossoms are. How when the lightest wind blows by you’re caught up in a flurry of snowing petals. How they accumulate on the streets and sidewalks and gutters and cover over the usual dirt and plastic and cigarette butts. In high school English, when we learned that the cherry blossom inspired some of the most beloved haiku, I used to wonder what made them so special. I don’t wonder anymore. Winter is ugly here; frozen and gnarled and not enough snow to compensate. The cherry blossoms are the first things out, the first hints that the warmer weather is coming, like the crocuses back home. It’s the mystical magical pre-spring, before the forsythia and dandelions bring the noisy sunburst joy.

“What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.”
(Kobayashi Issa)

By Wednesday the temperatures will be back up to 70. Hooray!

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