Saturday, March 28, 2009


It's starting to look a lot like springtime...everything's now in bloom, even the nighttime temps will be above freezing from this point on. Question is, will such good news tempt to brave the crowds in town for the Cherry Blossom Festival events? After all, milling about in a beautiful setting, even in the middle of a crowd, can make for a peaceful outing.

Speaking of peace, this year's turn of events, in which we now have an intelligent President who is at least willing to talk with other world leaders before rattling a saber, make me reflect on how Washington's cherry trees were a present from another political leader, Yukio Ozaki, who was mayor of Tokyo in 1912 and was opposed to Japan's descent into militarism. His gift was part of his ethos of extending the cherry tree branch, so to speak, as well as an outpouring of efforts to improve his own city. As his daughter related a couple of years ago, "He always wanted to make a new Japan."

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Certainly, Ozaki was well aware of nature's fragility; I am reminded of the same when listening to this song, Les Fleurs, from the late Minnie Riperton.

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