So So Sakura

Chieko’s mom has come to visit us for a few days.  It’s been months since she has seen Ray, and with the impending start of the farming season in Niigata (i.e. all that snow is nearly gone) she won’t have much time to get away.  I picked her up at Kanazawa Station this afternoon, and on the drive home we both enjoyed looking at the Cherry trees in full bloom along the Saigawa River and other less picturesque spots.

It was a nice afternoon, and since it appeared that I wasn’t going to head back into work after all I wanted to get out and stroll among the blossoms.  Avoiding the hustle and bustle and general chaos that comes with cherry blossom peeping at Kanazawa’s famed Kenrokuen, where entry is free this time of year, I drove us to a spot much closer to home.  On the other side of the river near our house there is a long (as in miles) cherry tree-lined path that is very nice to walk or cycle along.  If you go to my old blog and look at posts from a year ago you can see last year’s bloom.

Unfortunately we’re a few degrees cooler out here, and the trees had not blossomed to full glory.  We had a good walk though, and it was nice to see all the old people out prepping their gardens, and the slightly younger people tilling the rice paddies.  It was a very springy atmosphere, but not ideal for taking pictures of cherry blossoms.  I take for granted that most of my readers know what ‘sakura’ means, but in case you don’t, it’s the Japanese word for cherry blossoms.  You hear it quite a bit this time of year.

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Ray had the best view, looking straight up as we passed beneath all the trees.  It affirmed an idea that has been festering in my mind since Ray was born and we started acquiring all sorts of baby equipment, that someone (me, perhaps) needs to make adult sized baby equipment.  I would love for someone to push me around in a giant stroller while I swilled wine and took pictures.  Also on my list is a man-sized jolly jumper, and one of the bouncy reclining chairs that Ray has.

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Since the blossoms were lacking, I found myself once again enamored with Japan’s irrigation network of open canals.  There’s something about running water that appeals to me, especially when there’s lots of moss involved.

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The whole sakura fixation here is a bit of a cliché, but the awesomeness of settling down under a cherry tree in full bloom and basking in the notion that spring has arrived, and pondering the fleeting nature of these beautiful flowers and all the allusions to life that they conjure up, is undeniable.  I hope they last until the weekend.

I have been going into the office all week getting prepared for classes to start up on Thursday.  I’m looking forward to teaching freshmen this semester.  They are always studious and polite, and haven’t yet figured out how to cut corners in college.  I’ve also revamped some of the ways I’m going to conduct my classes, aside from the lessons themselves, which are constantly in flux, and I’m excited to see how the changes will work.

That’s about all I’ve got.  Time to vegetate.

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