All credit to them, the cherry blossoms have performed sensationally this hanami season. Even when up against it, battling the pouring rain and freezing Siberian winds, the big lads in pink tops have oozed class. Hats off to them.
Sorry about that. What can I say? I miss football and football commentary.
And I don`t have many words for flowers.
I appreciate the blossoms more with every year I spend in Japan. Perhaps poignancy accumulates.
This year, I have seen both young and old enjoying the pink clouds.
(ALERT: already used pink and blossom twice: don`t risk any more)
On wet, windy Wednesday, I passed a group of high school boys and girls walking down to Inokashira train station. Even though it is the spring holiday, they were in dark school uniforms. From the musical instruments on their back, I assume they just finished brass band practice.
Some of them were singing “Aruko…..aruko……” from the Studio Ghibli anime, My Neigbour Totoro. They were all in fine feckle, as happy as Larry. (What is wrong with me today?)
Then the tallest boy bellowed out: “Let`s go and see the sakura, and then catch our trains home after?”
To my astonishment, many agreed with him. The teenagers all went off together.
I imagined trying a similar line back home: “Fancy joining me for a look at the flower petals in the cold and wet lads?”
The student would never be seen again.
And the long jump pit would have a harder landing.
Last week, while waiting for my washing, I sat idly on a bench in a small, square, tree-ringed communal playground. Before long, a lady in a wheelchair arrived, pushed by her son.
“Gotta show her the sakura,” he called out to a neighbour.
Wearing saucepan-sized glasses and smiling from ear to ear, the lady gazed up at the sakura cloud and purred, “kireiiiii, kireiiiiii.”
She has probably seen exactly the same view for 70, perhaps 80 years. Yet it still moves her. And me a little more each time.