I think I first dreamed of seeing cherry blossoms in Asia when I was in junior high. But the dream was only half there, simply a sketch of a desire, not yet fully realized (like so much else at that age). It wasn’t until I read Memoirs of a Geisha, and then subsequently Geisha: A Life, that I began to have true imaginings of allowing a shower of blossoms rain over me like snow.
I came to love their ephemeral beauty, so fleeting — like a butterfly, bursting forth with every ounce of their being to partake in that one beautiful week in spring. I eventually incorporated my deep appreciation of the sakura into the backdrop of my thigh tattoo. I figured it was as close as I was going to get to the real thing.
Until last weekend.
Slightly upon accident we happened upon a lake lined with that very tree which had so captured my adolescent mind’s wanderings.
As we allowed ourselves to be swept into the undulating herd of camera-wielding Koreans, I finally found the opportunity to perceive the cherry blossoms at my leisure. We walked, slowly, underneath a canopy of white — at some points, the blossoms completely obscured the pristine blue sky. Each smooth petal contributed to a cloak of perky blossoms that allowed me to finally experience “walking with the sakura.”
Suffice to say the pageantry and celebratory nature of the week long bloom was just as exciting and lovely as I imagined, although I was not wearing a kimono or clutching a parasol. My eyes grew teary as I stared too long toward the sun.
i walk with the past
through an endless tunnel
more blossoms than sky.