The Japanese love for cherry blossoms (sakura) is famous. I, a Tokyo resident, am no exception. Every year, I never tire of seeing the tiny flowers in bloom. I actually get such a kick out of it. I dare say it is an essential rhythmic element of my life.
Usually, it happens accompanied by a gradual buildup and culmination of expectations. First you notice that the winter air is loosing up. The temperature is rising. The atmosphere is getting softer. You feel that you want to take your coat off. Then out of the blue the idea comes to you, that maybe the cherry blossoms are ready to bloom sometime soon.
This gradual transition to cherry-readiness is, I think, an essential process in the psychological change of season. The Japanese has been repeating the process for so many years, that it is an integral part of the national character now.
This year it was all different. It happened so quickly. There was a spell of very cold days, and then suddenly the temperature shot up. It felt that it was early summer. Then the cherry blossoms started to bloom without warning. At least that was how it appeared to this writer. Then, without the gradual buildup of expectations, he blossoms were in full bloom.
Cherry blossoms without the preceding buildup of heart is something new. Maybe it is the reality of an era marked by global warming. Perhaps it is just a result of statistical fluctuation.
The face of spring is different this time. The Mother Nature never stops surprising us, even in her calm moods. My heart is a little jittery this year, due to her abrupt dance with the spirits of the cherry fairies.