This is one of my favorite times of the year. It is cherry blossom time at the Tidal Basin. On the day this meditation will be posted the cherry blossoms will be at their peak bloom. In all likelihood we will have begun our day before dawn to walk around the trees and take yet more pictures. This iconic snapshot of Washington DC has become a symbol of home for me.
Originally given as a gift of friendship from the Japanese government, on December 10, 1909, two thousand cherry trees arrived in Seattle, Washington. On January 6, 1910, the two thousand trees arrived in Washington DC. Some of the trees remaining at the Tidal Basin date back to this time. As I was thinking about which day would be a good choice for our annual visit, I began thinking how this symbol of friendship, kindness, and beauty survived that period thirty-one years later which was defined by Pearl Harbor, Internment Camps, and two Atomic Bombs. The trees were there before, during, and after. Each year the blossoms declared what could be – peace, beauty, kindness, mutual respect.
Once again, the basin will be laced in soft, pink petals. People from many neighborhoods, states, and nations will stroll the pathways. Once again, we will go down for our walk and watch the sun rise on a new day of possibilities. May the cherry trees remind us of those enduring values of friendship and kindness.