And now the cherries…

This morning, after yesterday’s rainstorm, the cherry trees have come into their own.

Two days ago they were gray branches on gray trunks, but now they are mists of palest pink, proudly decorating the streets of Gaithersburg.

This is cherryblossom country. The century-old Japanese cherries down at DC’s Tidal Basin are a famous sight, worth seeing by day and magical in the moonlight. But those famous blossoms receive mobs of visitors, and it can be a hassle to get there.

The early Yoshino cherries on Professional Drive in Gaithersburg, and the ones at the Asbury Methodist retirement community, and scattered along streets around town, are gorgeous enough for me, without the attendant crowds and traffic.

One of the loveliest displays of blooming cherry trees that I’ve ever enjoyed was in Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ. Years ago my Estonian-American friend Kati invited me and several others to a chilly picnic in the park when the trees were in full bloom. We shivered in our winter coats, but it was breathtaking to sit among the flowering beauty.

Even our redbuds are bursting forth, I noticed today. They are relatives of our common peas and beans and clovers, members of the legume family.

Redbuds are so vivid and surprising to see in the faintly greening woodlands. Personally, I like to think of them as the kisses of the Goddess on the awakening land.

And the cherry blossoms are Her dreams made manifest.

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