The Japanese cherry trees were in full bloom that day. Full, gorgeous, fragrant bloom. I don't know if I've ever smelled so many cherry blossoms (sakura, or 桜) at once before. It was heavenly. Better than pie. The only place I can remember that smelled as good was Sounion, in Greece, the first time I ever saw the Mediterranean Sea.
I am a sucker for flowering fruit trees. They're my kryptonite. Spring is normally a cacophony of sneezes, wheezes, and honking into tissues. The prettier the flower, the deadlier the pollen. But I love 'em anyway, and there are times in the car when I feel like I need to stop and pull over to take pictures of random weeping cherry trees in some stranger's front yard.
These cherry trees are around a memorial, an All-Veterans Walk of Honor, for local servicemen and servicewomen and Blue Star Mothers. I am not a particularly military-minded individual, but I sure think it's a beautiful place.
Here's something you'll almost never hear me say about anyplace else in this town: it's very serene and lovely at the memorial, with the sound of the creek, and the kiss of the wind, and the smell of the blossoms. I don't know anybody who is remembered here, but my heart still caught in my chest a little.
I must have been there on the very peak day for the trees, because ever since then, they've been looking less and less fluffy and more and more "mangy," as flowering fruit trees do when they lose their blossoms.
Lucky me, getting to be there on the absolute best possible day. Moments that I get to spend with myself are so rare any more.
I think that next year we might have to plan a road trip to D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival, or maybe we'll try to make it to the one in Philly instead. I'll take a real camera for those.