Under the Cherry Blossoms

by Joseph McKeown


 A flowering cherry tree in the Japanese Hill-And-Pond Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

A flowering cherry tree in the Japanese Hill-And-Pond Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

We all know what springtime means: longer days, warmer weather, and, of course, blossoming cherry trees. Ahead of the Cherry Blossom Festival, also called Sakura Matsuri, a few trees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden have already blossomed. The festival, held later this month, celebrates the Japanese cultural tradition of enjoying each moment of the cherry blossom season and contemplating the beauty and fragility of life. But don't just wait for the festival. Most, if not all, of the cherry trees will soon be in full bloom. Don't have anyone to go with? Not to worry. As the famed Japanese poet Issa says: "Under the cherry blossoms / none are / utter strangers."