This was the cherry blossom tree we had a picnic under. It was simply gorgeous and I couldn’t have asked for a prettier tree. It was so pretty that there were at least 25 people who stopped by and had their pictures taken by it. We sat right next to it, so we had plenty of company of people standing almost next to us having their pictures taken. The sky was cloudy, but as the day went on, it became half sunny.
I love trees. I especially love Japanese trees because they have some of the most bizarre branches I have ever seen. I especially liked this one. It went over the little pond by the Japanese house. The tree has character.
This is the Japanese House “Sofuso” in Fairmount Park, PA. We tried to get a tour, but it was sold out. The next best thing was to look through the metal gates and take pictures. It appeared that it was under construction in some parts. I was really looking forward to getting a tour of the house, but I suppose that means a later time this year. I will definately take pictures and videos of it and bring it here to my blog. Isn’t it pretty?
We hopped on the train from Jersey and had a lovely ride into center city Philly. We then caught a taxi immediately coming up from the subway that took us to the place where we were to catch another shuttle bus that would take us to the Japanese Festival. I’ve never been to Fairmount Park before. This was my first time and I couldn’t think of a better time to do it.
Once we stepped off the bus, we headed into the area where the food was. We got cheeseburgers (the Teriyaki vendors had closed) and fries. I love homemade lemonade, so I got that. My friend had given us a picnic blanket last year so we used it. Cherry Blossoms Festivals in Japan (and everywhere else), they encourage picnics on the ground with family and friends. It’s a great time for socializing and enjoying life. I love picnics on the grass. I saw some people eating on regular tables and picnic tables too.
We ate and enjoyed the sounds of laughter and the sense of peace all around us. It was a perfect day.
It’s true that when you are in nature, you find yourself discovering more and more about yourself. I don’t often speak about deep issues on a daily basis to people, but one way to get to talk deep issues and about life is to get me out in nature. As I was looking around, I imagined myself in Japan. I could live there. I think I’d adapt well. I know I’d be a foreigner, but that’s ok. It’s not about being a foreigner, it’s about embracing the culture and the people. The Japanese people are such gracious and polite people. As we were entering the shuttle bus in center city to go to Fairmount Park, we had three friendly Japanese girls greet us and say, “Have a great time!” as we walked to the bus. I thought it was so incredibly sweet and nice! It gave me an incredible first impression and made me excited to see what awaited us at the festival.
Then my thoughts turned once again to the sweet people of Japan. I looked around at the crowd and looked at the faces. Everyone seemed happy and full of life. There was also a sense of peace and calmness. I wondered how many people had loved ones there that were on their minds. I’m sure a lot. It seemed like life was going on. The human spirit can’t be damaged. It is the strongest. Your eyes may go blind. You may lose your physical strength for walking or lifting, but your spirit is what makes a person continue with living life. And that’s what I saw today–it was beautiful!
I heard on a Japanese newscast that the Cherry Blossoms this year were particularly special to the people of Japan and Japanese from all over the world. The blossoms represent solace and recovery. Just like Fall leaves that show their beauty before winter, so are the blossoms. The blossoms are so sweet and innocent. They remind us that life is fragile and beautiful, yet it can be taken away very quickly. Take time to enjoy each day of your life. I know I do. And I did today.
Today was perfect. Absolutely perfect. I made a video so I could remember it. It took me a while to write this blog because I was listening to 30 Japanese songs to find the perfect song that I felt represented my video the best. Hope you like it. I am having some difficulty uploadind the video, but here is the link to watch it.