Kobayashi Issa: In the cherry blossom’s shade, there’s no such thing as a stranger.
In line with something I wrote yesterday, I had a dream this morning about being invited to a family function thrown by the parents of kids we grew up with. Both parents passed a few years ago, but they were both vividly present at the gala. In fact, the mom stood up and said something like “Where are Caryn and Leslie? They loved my kids when they were growing up!” The mom, wearing a gold gown with big bouffant hair (so 70s!), could plainly see that we were in the front row waving to her like she was a rockstar.
Later at the party, which was jam-packed full of people from my childhood and teenage years, I sat down with our friends’ mom. She told me that she narrowed down her invitation list from 100,000 (yes, she really said that number!) to about 150. I mean, really. Who knows 100,000 people? What is the significance of that number?
Anyway, her kids were there, along with other childhood friends. My uncle was in attendance, but my parents were not. Maybe this dream was brought on because Leslie and I would have celebrated my parents’ 64th wedding anniversary yesterday. They were married in New York and honeymooned in Washington D.C. My mother always fondly talked about the cherry blossoms in bloom this time of year. While most of the news these days centers around Washington politics, I haven’t seen any public interest stories about the fragrant flower that marks the beginning of spring. Leslie and I had the good fortune to spend our parents’ 25th anniversary back in Washington and we saw the beauty of the cherry blossom. Added to my bucket list: a trip back to D.C. for the cherry blossom festival.
We are reminded that: The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short.