Thursday, April 7, 2011

What I'm Watching - Washington Edition

We were in town during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Dear readers will recall that these trees were thank-you gifts from the Japanese in the early part of the last century. As I walked among these magnificent trees, I thought about how the cherry blossoms are significant to the Japanese because of their ephemeral beauty - such a brief period of pure loveliness - and how that must be playing out in Japan right now.

Then, as I walked along, I started noticing that most of the trees have been pruned, some rather severely.
See all of those bulges on the tree? Those are pruning scars. Then, I started noticing......
Do you see the new shoots coming out of the "killed" parts? Life is persistent and will find ways to push itself forward. Even those parts of ourselves that we thought were dead may turn out to be just dormant if we allow ourselves to be open to change and growth. I look at this tree, and I see the beauty of a living organism that has survived.
Finally, I want to share this picture of a tree wearing a lovely plume. This enchanted me.
As I moved along the Tidal Basin, I came across the Franklin Roosevelt memorial, which is set up as a series of "rooms," one room for his pre-presidential life, one room for each of terms as president, and then a summation room. If you follow the link, you'll see a picture of the statue of President Roosevelt, and you'll notice his index finger appears to be gold. Well, the day I was there, children were crawling all over the statue, and most were rubbing his finger and petting his dog (who had a gold patch on top of his head). I think that the president would have been charmed. Two pictures:
My mother was 13-going-on-14 the spring that the president died. Her father was an autoworker, her mother a housewife, and her older brothers were away at war. She was in the house when the radio announced the president's death. She took the news out to the backyard where her mother was hanging laundry. My grandmother slapped her face, screamed, "Don't say such wicked things!" and burst into tears. That's who FDR was, and that's why he still matters and will matter for generations to come.


sophie said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely photos. Looks like it was a great trip.

Delusional Knitter said...

How beautiful! The pruning is rather severe ... looks like the maniac from Texas Chainsaw Masacre was employed to do the pruning in the past.