Hanami … sort of …

“In winter say the snow-bound, she shall come with the spring…”
-Kahlil Gibran

“…Why do the blossoms scatter
with such uneasy hearts?”
-Ki no Tomonori

“One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs…”
-Wallace Stevens

I’ve blogged previously about the cherry blossoms around Washington, D.C.’s Tidal Basin. Hanami is definitely in my Top 5 Annual Things I Look Forward To, and it’s become something of a clock for me, except that it ticks in deep time rather than by the minute. There are lots of cherry trees in Baltimore (where I now live), to be sure. I live a few blocks away from at least two small groves that I know of. I haven’t seen any as sublime or spectacular as the Tidal Basin, though.

Now that I live in Baltimore, about an hour’s train ride away, it’s more of a trip for me to go see there each year—and I usually make the effort get there. This year, though, it may not be worth the trip.

Unfortunately, this year, they started to blossom a bit early, and a seasonal frost has come along this week: snow, sleet, freezing, and basically all those wintry things that harm delicate plant parts, all literally days before the projected Peak Bloom. This year the blossom-viewing will probably not be so spectacular.

The experts say it’s not a total disaster yet, but a lot can still happen between now and the end of frost danger. I’m very sad about the whole thing. Earth is fragile systems, and this is one of my favorites.

Pictured, above & below: cherry blossoms in southwest Baltimore thawing after a mild blizzard.