51°30’35”N 0°7’5”W

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Watching flowers fall

Adam Scott and Dave Waddell
4:56:05 14 March 2024
35.6764° N, 139.6500° E


We watched the flowers all day. I arrived at dawn, to save a spot. The petals were already falling. I cleared the grass and laid out the blanket and the food and drink and waited for the others. They came in dribs and drabs. The petals fell all day. We ate rice balls and fried chicken. We drank beer and saké. We were full and some of us were drunk. My grandmother told stories about watching the cherry blossom when she was a child. When we walked home, a gust of wind sent hundreds of petals funneling into the sky. We watched as they fell to earth, each one a small and perfectly beautiful death.


The Japanese custom of hanami – cherry blossom or sakura watching –  is an old and still observed spring custom. The sakura has many meanings, not least the fragile nature of life. 


Photos: Stock Adobe


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