I googled “Sakura trees at night.” It’s funny how things like that sometimes happen. I can’t think of anything that could have prompted me to look up these trees. At least nothing I was consciously thinking of. Regardless, or “irregardless,” as an old friend used to say constantly. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her seemingly favorite word was not a word at all. Anyway. Irrespective of where the sakura thought came from; I’m grateful that it did. Scrolling past endless pictures of these trees brought me peace and hope. I close my eyes.
I imagine myself beneath their enchanting boughs, watching the small Sakura flowers here and there ballet their way down to the ground.
When I see people obliviously walk past these trees or cast barely a glance their way, I wonder if they are perhaps witnessing a completely different world. I look at these trees, and their beauty completely arrests me. I stare intently, wanting to take it all in, knowing that this moment is as fleeting as a shooting star. It’s at moments like these that I wish time stood still for a short moment. Yet, the tree itself is a testament to the constant changes all around us.
I wish I were beneath their enchanting boughs, watching the small Sakura flowers here and there ballet their way down to the ground.
I loosen my grip on time in my imagination, and as the night falls, the lanterns set the trees gently aglow. They become galaxies of flowers against the night sky. Each flower, a world suspended in space and time. I would lay here on my back all night long if I could: blindly contemplating my beloved imaginary trees. Alas, I begin to lose my battle against sleep.
I am now beneath their enchanting boughs, watching the small Sakura flowers here and their ballet their way down to the ground.
It is late morning and I’ve been walking for a few miles in the cool springtime air. The last forty-five minutes of my walk have been the slowest of my life. I am helpless as nearly every step of the way as I keep raising my camera to photograph the most wonderful blooming trees. The Sakura-lined Philosopher’s Path is the most beautiful walk I have ever experienced. I could spend a lifetime composing music, painting a landscape, and writing about my emotions as I experienced this path and they would all fall short of capturing what my heart feels in this place. This land is foreign and far from home, yet my soul would have me thing it is home. A part of me belongs here in Kyoto as strange as that may sound.
I finally decide to take a rest and walk into this beautiful little cafe along this path. There are lovely lamps with colored glass lamp shades and all filling the interior of the room with a warm glow that brought to life the wood on some of the walls and furniture. Soft instrumental Jazz music was playing on the radio. The small round tables near the large windows are basked in the late morning daylight. I set my backpack on the floor and set my camera aside. I order a cappuccino and a matcha roll cake. While I wait I take in that incredible vista of the blossoming Sakuras and the passersby fixated on the pink boughs. My order is placed on the table and the ceramic cup and plate with the silverware resting on them complement the scene better than I could hope for. I am again helpless and pick up my camera to capture the moment that I know all too well to me so tragically fleeting. I dream of being able to experience scenes such as these an photograph and write about them. It is moments like these that I treasure being alone because time is immaterial when it all belongs to you.