|Tidal Basin 2011 photo: Lam|
The Cherry Trees were a gift from Japan in 1912. A relationship was forged during the time it took to acquire the trees and finally get them in the ground. (This wasn't easy. Check out: Cherry Blossom Time Line.)
As history progresses we see this gift threatened as it becomes a representation of the heavier aspects of nature. The Cherry Blossom Trees can been viewed as a tangible example of the seasonal waxing and waning of the human condition. Each flower can represent a separate piece of our condition: generosity and graciousness, fear and necessity, pride, pain, regret, forgiveness, perseverance, glory. When we look at the long relationship between Japan and the United States, we can never forget that it only took a moment to nearly destroy each other, and it took years in the re-paving. Now-- a natural disaster, not a human one, has damaged Japan and challenged us to deepen our friendship and forge ahead.
Japan's real gift to us is a reminder that time does heal most wounds, that love does cover a multitude of wrongs. we can be reconciled to one another, and best of all beauty can continue to emerge. Lucky for those of us close to DC, this reminder emerges each year as a ring of Flowering Cherries that have endured and blossomed, been grafted, reborn and remained for 99 years.