Noilly Prattle: Getting Reacquainted 16 -- Plum Crazy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Getting Reacquainted 16 -- Plum Crazy

 a few early open plum blossoms

avant garde cemetery veiled by plum trees -
ephemerality and inevitability
     When people think of Japan, they invariably think of the delicate pink snow of cherry blossoms in Spring. But, when you've lived here long enough and the winter chill has pretty much penetrated to your bones, it isn't the cherry blossoms that gladden the heart but the earlier plum blossoms—the real harbingers of Spring If the cherry blossoms symbolize the ephemerality of life, the plum blossoms, for me, symbolize its inevitability.

just peeking out
       When the plum blossoms begin to peek out of their hard little red shells like a white pupil in a red-rimmed eyeball, before they grow into a field of whites pearls against a cerulean sky, you feel drawn like a magnet out of the house and into the country to see them and smell their delicate scent that seems to announce the reawakening of nature from the gray tomb of Winter.

white pearls seem to dance gaily under a blue sky

small arrangement with
left over material
       There are many plum trees within walking distance of our home, one right across the street. It blooms a little earlier than the others since it is directly in the sun and tells when it's time to go plum viewing. During a walk in the area a couple days ago we cut a plum branch and did a seasonal Ikebana in our genkan (entry) in a conventional style. I posted a photo of it in my previous post.

       Today we decided to venture farther afield and went to see if we could see any plum blossoms at one of our favorite nature viewing and walking spots, the “Temple of the Dragon Waterfall” known locally as Ryusenji. The temple is at a higher elevation in the mountains than here, consequently the plum blossoms are still mostly in the pearl stage, but a few of the flowers were fully opened. Even that way, though, they make you feel that Spring is definitely arriving. And that's not a trivial thing...

mostly tight buds, but imagine this beautifully
shaped plum tree in full bloom--maybe in a week or two

No comments: