PHYLLIS ODESSEY

WARNING Do Not Sit Underthe cherry blossoms

I awoke this morning to a story on NPR:  the Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara admonishing residents not to sit under the cherry trees.  It’s Hanami (flower viewing) in Japan.  I thought it might have something to do the nuclear disaster.  Perhaps, it was some weird phenomenon where cherry trees pick up an unnatural amounts of radiation.  I was wrong.

The Governor thought that people should not be celebrating, considering the many catastrophes that have befallen the country.  Strolling and picnicking under the blossoms of cherry trees is a Japanese tradition.  “It is an expression of the aesthetic sensibility of the Japanese soul,” said one passerby interviewed by NPR.

HAIKU BY BASHO
Come, see real
flowers
of this painful world.

After hearing this story on the radio, I drove to Randall’s Island. From 7 am to 10 am, we unloaded 150 trees: Tilia Americana, Prunus yoshino, Crategeus viridis ‘Winter King’ Malus ‘Profusion’, Zelkovia serrata, Quercus bicolor and Cornus florida. The Prunus were full of buds.  I was looking forward to seeing them flower, looking up at these pink powder puffs and feeling their grace.
 
If you agree with the Governor and want a cherry blossom to sit IN FRONT OF, but not under, check out this cover for your ipad.

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