Thursday, April 29, 2010


Scattered over the mountains - the green parts and the stony parts, with a little cap of snow at the top - here and there glow puffs of pinkish-white where a cherry tree has somehow managed to be. How did each of them come to brighten there, like slow fireworks with those shimmery petals, amidst the solid shades of cedar, hinoki, oak, beech-- all the other stolidly green, right-at-home trees?

Single cherry seeds must have been dropped in each of those places way up there, in those most difficult of locations, by animals or birds, or by rainstreams flowing down from a parent tree above, now long gone. Perhaps that's why there are never two cherry trees together; they are scattered singly across these mountainsides, those little bursts of pink confetti, at least for this moment-- roundish wisps of brightness up there, flickering now in the wind, amid the overall somberness of the forest.

In the midst of one mountainside there is something white, not pink - as alone as any cherry tree, but not roundish like a cherry - it is tall and pointed... My handy binoculars tell me it is a tulip tree up there in full bloom, limbs raised high as though all the world should see its beauty-- perhaps indeed secretly stirring beauty everywhere, as the beat of a butterfly's wing begins a breeze.

The road below us is lined with cherry trees, as is the main road up through the village, that at this time of day are lit from behind us by the setting sun as the lake below turns dark sapphire in the background, white sails in the darkling air above the blossoming trees. All that beauty, like all the finest beauty - like the cherry blossoms themselves - lasts but a moment; then the sun fades behind the mountains, and that much splendor is nowhere but in ourselves.


Tabor said...

I can see it through your words. My woods are full of tulip trees and they shed flower petals every where this week. Our famous dogwoods failed throughout the state and we are all wondering what went wrong.

R. Brady said...

Did your dogwoods experience a strange cold spell, like the one that made my onions flower prematurely?

Marianne said...

Beautiful virtual vision. You live in a place that must be so breathtaking. I would love to see photos sometime. You are such a skilled writer. I'm always moved by your posts. Spring has sprung here in Chicago: colorful and sunlit through the windows; downright chilly out in the air!

Entre Nous said...

Our peach grove is faiing already due to the cold. Blossoms came, then frizzled and died, not holding out any hope for more blossoms. Though it snowed (a lot I might add) in VT last night, we had a damp frost. The lavender continues to survive, and today in a wild turnabout of 65 degrees, it languishes in the sun, its fragrance wafting through the open windows, and we have hope that the cold weather has left us, and a few plants, alone.

Mark said...

I came across an old post of yours about Satoyama by Lake Biwa.
I wondered if you could help me?

R. Brady said...

Sure Mark; be glad to, if I can. Might be easier though - if it takes a few exchanges - to email me at the address in the sidebar.