I’m a dreamer alright. I’m forever dreaming of visiting far off places; exotic places, cultural places, warm places. Right now I’d like to visit Japan because I’ve always wanted to join in the blossom festival, or Hanami if you speak the lingo. Hanami is a celebration of Spring and I take my furry winter hat off to the Japanese for recognising that Spring is well worth a celebration. Thousands of people wake from their winter slumber and step outside to take part in the ancient tradition of flower viewing as the cherry and plum trees burst into bloom.
But I don’t just want to view the blossoms that transform the landscape, I want to immerse myself in them. I want to be so captivated by their fleeting beauty that I lose myself entirely. I want to drift dreamily through the flowery trees then pause awhile to gather soft petals from the mossy ground. I would hold them for a minute or two and marvel at their lightness before blowing them gently away and watching them flutter to the ground like confetti.
Then I would sit awhile and join in a tea ceremony under the boughs of a cherry blossom tree. Petals will fall in my tea and I will smile and idly waft them around the cup with my fingertip. I will be content in this tranquility and my thoughts will roam free. And I know what those thoughts will be ‘who the heck had the brilliant idea of putting flowers in a tree!’
” Well hello there daydreamer just stop right there, open those wistful eyes and take a look around” I tell my traveller self.
And I look, and I realise it’s right here, all around me! The blossom trees are softening my world with their sugary pastel hues and the sight of them, quite simply, makes me happy. (I defy anyone to stand under a blossom tree and not let out a little sigh of contentment).
I don’t need to go far, I can walk round my own small suburban garden and indulge in a little Hanami, a little flower viewing. I can even potter around other people’s gardens and indulge, if they’ll have me. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can stop me drinking tea in my own piece of paradise (or someone else’s if they’ll have me).
So potter around my own little landscape I do and here’s what I find.
Catkins on the twisted hazel dangle in the breeze.
Hellebores speckled and beautiful.
And my latest additions snake’s head fritillary. I’ve always wanted these in my garden so when I found them in reduced to clear at an overpriced garden centre, £2 a pot instead of £5.99, I bought lots.
So there we have it, my own little celebration of Spring, my own Hanami. All I need now is a pot of tea and a place to sit and at thats me, raising a glass to the season.