Monday, April 13, 2015

The sound of cherry trees blooming

There is a famous haiku by Matsuo Bashō, a 17th century Japanese poet, about a frog and a pond:

An old pond
A frog jumps in
The sound of water

On Saturday afternoon Math Man, Crash and I went to see the famed Japanese cherry blossoms in Washington DC along the tidal basin.  I had a meeting in DC starting the next day, and by some miracle, the trees were at "peak bloom" so on the spur of the moment, off we went.  Along with a million other people.

Bryn Mawr's campus has some beautiful old cherry trees on it, and Math Man was imagining a serene walk around the tidal basin admiring the blooms.  It was about as Zen a walk as my first visit to the iconic Ryoanji in Kyoto.  People, so many people, in such a small strip of land.  Horns blasting, buses thrumming, traffic cops' whistles tweeting, helicopters buzzing us.

White blossoms open
to the late afternoon sun
with a sigh.  Beep!  Screech!

We can now say we've seen the cherry blossoms, but we've booked a date to walk around Bryn Mawr on a warm evening, when the trees are in bloom, and experience them.

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