|Korakuen Garden, Okayama, Japan, April 2010|
In Japan people go out to view cherry blossoms every spring and sit under its glory to meet and share a picnic with friends.
|Vancouver, Canada, April 2009|
I never quite understood just how incredible an experience it is to view cherry blossoms blooming in profusion until we were in Vancouver, Canada in 2009.
That was a surprise! We didn't realize there would be so many cherry trees blooming in Canada!
As we walked under the trees, the petals started falling around us and mom was ecstatic. She said she'd read about hanfubuki (flower blizzard) in poetry, but had never actually experienced it. She said she could now die in peace because she had seen everything. We persuaded her that there was still a lot more to enjoy so she should really stick around.
This weekend, mom said she'd heard cherry blossoms were in bloom in Wahiawa. Wahiawa on Oahu and Waimea on the Big Island are supposed to be the coldest places in Hawaii. I'm not counting the top of Mauna Kea (Big Island volcano). Cherry trees need the cold to bloom.
We told mom we should go out and see it. She said she'd already seen it once a long time ago and felt she'd already experienced the real thing in Canada and Japan and preferred keeping those memories.
I checked online to see where the cherry trees were supposed to be blooming in Wahiawa and then we were on the hunt.
First we went to Leilehua High School, but nobody we asked knew where the trees were and nobody saw them blooming.
We went to the Hongwanji Buddhist temple and saw a few trees with only a handful of flowers.
Then we went to the Ryusenji Soto Mission temple and found these trees on the side of the property. Ummmm......
Yes, there were some flowers on the branches.
The blossoms were lovely close-up.
We have such a profusion of flowers in Hawaii. Shower trees bloom for several months. African tulips trees appear to be blooming all year. Bougainvilleas spread huge swaths of eye catching color in every part of the islands Then there are the ubiquitous hibiscus.
So why the fascination with cherry blossoms, no matter how sparse?
Mom says it's their brevity. They have such a short time to reach their moment of glory and then they die all at once. She says that's why the samurai took it as their symbol representing their often brief life and dying at the height of their power.
I don't know. I wish they'd chosen to plant some other flowering trees all over the place in Wahiawa that would produce a better show for a longer period of time so we could see it more easily.
Don't ask Art though. He'll tell you they should plant mango trees instead.