On Picnics and Sakura

Don’t you really wish you were someplace else where today was a holiday? A nice holiday bringing up a long outdoorsy weekend?

When I used to be younger and in high school, I used to always dream up this travel machine (something like a time machine but this one doesn’t time travel, but only does space travel- and no I am in no mood to discuss the space-time continuum whether it has any specific relevance to what I had been saying or not). With this machine you could get to anywhere on the planet..in an instant. The advantage of something like that..a scenario where you could just travel from one country to another…from one public holiday to another…never having to work or having to go to school. (I must have been some kind of Homer Simpsonish character? )And if you really had this machine, where could you have been today?

I for one would have been in Japan, today being a holiday for the equinox (when locals normally visit the graves of their ancestors). But apart from anything else, I believe it would just be blissful to go on an outdoor picnic surrounded by all those lovely cherry blossoms. Those beautiful cherry blossoms that envelop everything in light for a fleeting few days.

 I believe the local tradition of going out and enjoying the flowers is called Hanami… and I read somewhere that it is common for newbie employees in companies to be asked to go and reserve spots in the parks and hang on to it all day until the others arrive (competition for spots being so intense at times…not an enviable position to be in, but you still get to enjoy the sakura).

And while I am at it, a few very nice Haiku that really capture the essence and the ephemeral beauty of the Cherry Blossoms.

White Cloud of Mist
Above White
Cherry-Blossoms
Dawn-Shining Mountains
(Basho Matsuo)

A White Swan Swimming
Parting with her
Unmoved Breast
Cherry-Petalled Pond
(Roka Tokutomi )

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