Carson and I managed to make it to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden just as the main esplanade was in the beginning stages of blooming last weekend. In my nine years as a New Yorker (and yes, I do consider myself a New Yorker after nine years), I have visited the botanic garden countless times, but my past visits had never coincided with this short-lived, joyous occasion. We walked the green-canopied paths, the branches overhead throwing speckles of shadow and light at our feet, a sea of tulips moving along with us, blooming flowers every color of the rainbow and more, as we made our way to the main esplanade of cherry blossom trees. There, the sea of tulips transformed into a sea of people with smartphones and selfie sticks, an unfortunate byproduct of any fascinating attraction these days. Luckily, it is easy to forget, or at least ignore, this unnatural part of things if you camp beneath one of these flourishing majesties, your head resting on the chest of the person you so love, staring up into the rich pink-and-white petals, so pretty you swear you could take a bite and in fact be tasting delicate clouds of the most delicious cotton candy the world has ever known. Tranquil moments like these can often times be brief in the city, but are rarely forgotten, and worth every fleeting minute.
Note: Widely celebrated in Japanese literature, poetry, and art, sakura carry layered meanings. For example, because they bloom briefly, the blossoms are often seen as a metaphor for the ephemeral beauty of living. At the same time, the joyful tradition of hanami (flower viewing) is an old and ongoing tradition.