I hope that everyone who finds herself in Manhattan this weekend will take some time to gaze at the gorgeous cherry trees, in full swell on the East side by the reservoir. I can't recall ever seeing such a display--but then again, I say that every year.

The difference this year, of course, is that after the winter that wasn't, 2012 brings a very early bloom. The heat has been so thick, and over such a sustained number of days, that everything in Central Park is bursting forth at once.

These trees are among my favorite sights; I visit them all year long, because there is always something wonderful going on, whether it is the way the bark is cracking and curling, or the way limbs want pruning, or the sweet green of the spring foliage.

This year the tiny twigs growing off the trunks are even blooming. It is as if the trees were pouring out their hearts.

I love the way cherry trees writhe and gnarl as they age, the way they bear their scars. These trees have a great deal to teach us about wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic of beautiful imperfection. I visit this particular tree frequently. It looks like it is trying to say something.

The skies are leaden this afternoon, so the reservoir looks like slate; a heavy rain will knock most of the blossoms off. They are short-lived--but that is also part of their appeal. You take in their beauty, and at the same time you are overcome with melancholy at their transience.

Spent blossoms are already littering the walkways and drifting into the water; every time the breeze stiffens another flurry rains down. It is all so intensely beautiful that I found myself suddenly thinking, there is nowhere I would rather be than right here, enraptured by these tiny blossoms. Believe me, that is not my usual state of mind. I tend to be on my way in a hurry...

The reservoir is a favorite running track--and I've taken to doing a few laps there myself recently--but it would be a shame to zoom past these trees. It takes slowing down, stopping, to really allow the mind to wander into the subtle shades of pinks and creams and whites and reds. How many things have both a vibrant drama and subtle beauty?

The trees were a gift to the city of New York in memory of Otto Marx, a plaque informs us. I have no idea who he was, but he must have been beloved, as he inspired a great and generous gesture. And he must have loved New York City. That rosy canopy is enough to make anyone fall in love with this city. Look on in wonder, while the wonder lasts. 


tom said...

Someone is selling canvases like that katalog stron seo I've seen recently.

Tony Bradford said...

I used to have that trees in front of my house where I lived before. Living in a town center takes everything of you even those trees.

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Tony Bradford said...

I had that flowers on my wedding table because I just love not the only look of them but also a smell they make.

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Tony Bradford said...

Speaking of Manhattan. I've been there years and years ago. Wonder how it changed. Missing you NYC.

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