Thursday, April 28, 2011
In 1912 Japan gave flowering cherry trees to the United States. Every year thousands of people visit Washington, D.C. to view these spectacular trees lining the Tidal Basin. The ephemeral nearly gossamer blossoms epitomize the beauty of the present moment; memories or photographs cannot replace the enjoyment of the actual viewing.
Along the Tidal Basin the Jefferson Memorial, completed in 1943, honors our nation's third President. Nearby, the Washington National Monument stands sentinel over the National Mall. Completed in 1884 after decades of delay, this 555-foot obelisk, the world's tallest masonry structure, houses 897 steps to its pyramid observation area.
Amidst all of this permanence, the gracefully cascading pink blossoms are dessert for the eyes.
Though I searched all day for spring
I could not find it.
Carrying my staff
I crossed over mountain after mountain
Coming back home
I happened to grasp a spray of plum blossoms
There I saw spring, blooming at its tip.
--The Blue Bird, Tai-i [Sung Dynasty]
Beauty is in this fleeting moment. It is the sturdy structures of our lives--relationships, avocations, and values--that ballast life's impermanence.
All photos by N.D. Mignone 2011