The Blooming

There’s something about flowers that has always intrigued me. Their beauty. Their aroma. The way they are created from basically nothing, serve their gorgeous purpose, and then quietly disappear, only to re-emerge again in their next season. Flowers mark the passage of time on the world’s clock.

That, and their sex organs are proudly, colorfully, elegantly on display. No shame. No excuses. Nothing conservative about the pistil and stamen. When bathed in that scent, designed to do nothing but attract, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer force of nature, the astounding instinct to continue living.

This was the attitude I brought to the glorious blooming of the cherry blossom trees at the University of Washington. I stood in their midst and just inhaled, allowing the pure luxury of being amongst them wash over me.

I wasn’t even bothered by the drone flying overhead, because I knew its footage would be unforgettable, And I was right. Here it is, on Youtube.

Life. What a gift.

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Cherry Blossoms

I think I’ve added another tradition to my Seattle calendar—that of enjoying the cherry blossoms on the campus of the University of Washington every spring. A more delightful sight you will never see. For me it symbolizes beginnings. It’s a time of awakening, of starting anew.

This year the blooms were at their height on March 22nd, so a friend and I packed a picnic lunch and seemed to travel back in time to Hogwarts. The campus is stunning any time of year, and its buildings are truly Harry-Potter-magical. But when you throw cherry blossoms into the mix, it’s beyond compare.

According to this article on the King5 website, “The UW cherry blossom trees, which are over 80 years old, were a gift from then-Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki in 1912 to mark a friendship between the United States and Japan. Thirty-four trees were planted in Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum; later, 31 of the trees were relocated to the UW and are now planted in the Quad.”

I don’t know if I could have been a student at UW. There’s a posted sign on the Quad that instructs you not to climb these trees, but their amazingly twisted and gnarled trunks just beg for your interaction. I’d probably not make it a week before being tossed out. But fortunately, this is also a great place to visit.

Since I’m told they’re worth a thousand words, what follows are some pictures that I took. (Well, except the aerial one. I wish I could take a picture like that!) You’ll notice it was still a cold, wet day. This is, after all, Seattle. So for our picnic, we huddled in an alcove and tried to avoid the cold wind. But would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

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