Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) and Stormy Sunsets

After almost five glorious sightseeing weeks touring Southeast Asia we have been hanging low waiting patiently for the jet lag to pass. While it is always a real treat to experience the natural beauty of other countries, it is also a joy to view it from your own window or the walking paths. In this case, the elegant Cherry blossoms. The other day the sun was bright and full against a blue sky and last evening the sunset was bright and shrouded by mysterious-looking storm clouds that ushered in a day of rain that has continued today as the morning unfolds. Though the photos hint of early Spring it is bone chilling cold out here in California. Even our son Jason's dog Daisy was feeling the chill and we had to put her insulated rain-resistant puffer vest on.

In Japan a cherry blossom is called Sakura. It is a popular name for girls. Many schools in Japan plant sakura on their grounds. When they are at their peak, businesses vary their trading hours to give their staff time to enjoy them.
It is called “Hanami” which in Japanese literally means “flower viewing.”

While Cecile and I have experienced the majestic beauty of the Cherry Blossom season in Japan some years ago,
I feel blessed that they appeared outside our stain glass window and outside my home office window. 
I never waste time doing something society deems important or "productive" when I can stop for a spell and enjoy the transient beauty of the cherry blossoms. 

Here are two poems that pay tribute to the joyful flowering of cherry blossoms and full moons nestling in amidst the storm clouds:


Soft, Delicate, Small, Fragrant
Pink and white
Flutter to the ground
To form a gentle blanket
That gently rustle
In the cool spring breeze
I watch in awe
At your beauty…
Oh majestic
And delicate one
Whose name is
—Semerian Perez 

"Though outwardly a gloomy shroud,
The inner half of every cloud
Is bright and shining [more so by the setting sun]:
I therefore turn my clouds about  
And always wear them inside out
To show the [silver lining]."
—Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler