Thursday, April 15, 2010

- Cherry Blossoms...

The cherry blossoms around the tidal basin in Washington, D.C. were a gift from Japan. Cherry blossoms symbolize the beauty and the fragility of life.  This shot combines a pine tree, which symbolizes long life, cherry and holly.  Holly symbolizes protection, so it all kind of makes sense....?

Some romance novels that have characters tied up in knots and unable to break free often have a crisis that challenges them to rethink their priorities, to realize that life is too short to hold back.  They, like the cherry blossoms, serve to remind us to remember to appreciate what we have before we lose it.
CB 20100404 pine holly cherry
Some might feel that this should be contemplated solo, but really, it's a valuable message for all, something worth sharing and appreciating  with others.
CB 20100404 crowd
Some said the blossoms were "past their prime" but that just meant we walked on a carpet of petals.

The tidal basin edge was quite amazing looking, like a work of modern art:

CB 20100404 Tree trunk

There were buds, blossoms and new shoots not just from the twigs and branches, but emerging from the gnarled trunks.  Life popping out everywhere.

One of my favorite images--petals in the mud.  With the right eyes, no matter where you looked, beauty was everywhere.
CB 20100404 mud
OK, yes, these are NOT cherry trees, though they are lovely.  These formed the edge of the George Mason monument.  Who knew he was such an amazing guy?  Who knew he had a really lovely statue and garden? A treat.  And an example of why D.C. is so lovely in the spring--so many flowering trees.
CB 20100404 tulip trees
This is just a glimpse of the WWII Memorial, in case you haven't seen.  The Lincoln Monument you should be familiar with!
CB lincoln 4'4'10
This was a special D.C. moment.  Total logjam with both car and foot traffic confused us until we realized someone more important than us (I know, hard to believe) was passing by.  Yes, that's the presidentialmobil.  Obama was coming back from NYC.
CB 20100404 pres
That same day we went to the Smithsonian museum of American Art and saw an amazing show of drawings from Christo's running fence.  Running fence existed for two weeks in September of 1975.  As you may know, the pieces are only up briefly, though they have taken years to make happen.

Christo's work is truly a statement that despite--or perhaps because of--the challenges, we make the effort to make the time that we have something to treasure.
running fence
Overly philosophical?  Perhaps.  But true....


Anonymous said...

Nice blog you got here... Just droppin' by to say hi!

Rachel Fenton said...

Hullo Isabel.
I have never been to the US so I really enjoyed your post. The blossoms look beautiful. I live in Auckland where we are just going into winter so it is nice to see spring is happening and to be reminded that the sun is always shining somewhere.

Isabel Swift said...


Thank you for your comment--I have never been to Auckland, so we're even (sort of).

I don't know if watching the Ring trilogy counts as an "almost" N.Z. experience. Surely diligent watching of West Wing or the Exorcist (Mars Attacks?) gives one a reasonable familiarity with DC.

Whatever! I hope your coming winter is a kinder one than the recent winter in DC, with two 2ft snowstorms hit a town that can't handle 2 inches! and thanks for stopping by. You have a lovely blog too!

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Isabel. If we get snow here, I'm moving back to England!

Jeannette said...

The running fence was fun to watch come into existence. It was in our neighborhood in those days. Thank you for the lovely cherry blossom tour.

Isabel Swift said...

Jeannette--How I envy you!

My first Christo was the Gates and I have been kicking myself since seeing that that I wasn't a Christo-head (or whatever the appropriate is for those who would go to one of his & Jeanne Claude's installations wherever in the world they were). I wish I could have seen Running Fence. The films capture some of it, but it would have been something to see!

Patricia McLinn said...

Have you had a chance to visit George Mason's home -- Gunston Hall? It's down the Potomac from Mount Vernon, and well worth the trip. One of my favorite little-known places in the DC area.

Isabel Swift said...

Pat, I have heard of Gunston Hall, but I don't think I've ever been (one never knows if a school trip might have been slipped in when I wasn't paying attention!).

Will definitely add to my list with your recommendation--have a fantasy of bicycling to Mount Vernon one day. I figure it's along the river & can't be too hilly, right?

Maybe Guston in a nice air-conditioned car....