Dancing the Wheel: Hanami in Hamburg
Beauty in the Centre
On our street, the Japanese cherry-trees have been in blossom for a few days! They are standing on the central reservation of the four-lane main road on which our block of houses is located. We sometimes pass under them on our way to the park. Every year these trees delight me anew.
Unfortunately I cannot go down there at the moment, but I can see one of the trees from the kitchen window. This morning the morning sun had a very special angle of incidence and made only the flowers glow. It looked so beautiful!
Often the branches of said tree sway in the wind or in the breeze of passing cars. Sometimes it looks as if the tree is waving at me. Then I am rejoicing and waving back.
As far as I know, it was discovered some time ago that trees can be in contact with each other and their environment over long distances. It is therefore possible that they, like us, wave to their neighbours from time to time.
Although I think I once read that the Japanese cherry-trees along our street were a gift from the city of Shanghai to the city of Hamburg – the two have been twinned since 1986 – I can no longer find this information anywhere.
Osaka and Hamburg have also been twinned since 1989. However, life in Hamburg has been enriched by an active Japanese community for much longer, which, among other things, has been organising the annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival on Lake Alster since 1968.
When I was a child, there were several Japanese families living in my immediate neighbourhood with whom we maintained good contact. I found this to be a great enrichment at the time, because through them I not only learned some Japanese customs but also a lot about my own culture.
Once they even took us to the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival on Lake Alster. I remember that we watched the accompanying fireworks from an Alster steamer. These seats were very much in demand, at least at that time.
Hanami – Sakura
The Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival is traditionally also called Hanami or Sakura. In Japan, the flowering of Japanese cherries starts as early as March, here, apart from some early varieties, it is usually rather late April/early May. The flowering period lasts about ten days and people go to visit the cherry trees at this time to sit by their trunks in their shade, celebrate spring, admire the beauty and contemplate the subjects of departure and transience. While Sakura, if I understand it correctly, describes the cherry blossom itself, the term Hanami refers to the celebration and viewing of the blossoms.
Besides their pure beauty, I find the blossoming of the cherry trees inspiring on many levels – every year anew. As I probably will not be able to take any photos this year, I have doodled a picture. The little snail is also quite in love with the beautiful blossoms.
A few years ago, I paid a very intensive visit to the blossoming cherries here on the road and a video resulted from the pictures – it also contains footage of a neighbouring blossoming magnolia:
Do you also have Japanese cherry-trees in your neighbourhood? Do you visit them sometimes? Are you ready to shine a bright light of awareness on the path of beingness, today? Much Love, Steffi