We wanted to see the cherry blossoms together — just us — before they disappeared so we planned a date night, packed a bag with cheese, fruit, and homemade blueberry pecan muffins and went back to the Tidal Basin. It was pretty cloudy but warm and with a nice summery breeze. We walked and walked and walked until I found my secret little tree and then we spread out our blanket, opened up all our little vintage canisters (bought at a thrift store with the sole idea of using them for picnicking) and had ourselves a picnic.
Even beneath my secret tree there was just no escaping the tourists who, once they spotted us beneath the cherry tree, they came over to take photos — of themselves, not us — but still. Apparently there are no boundaries during cherry blossom season.
Several minutes into our picnic, the breeze picked up. At first it was subtle and then large gusts of wind shook the trees free of their prized blossoms and scattered them all around us like petals of rain. The tourists scattered too finally leaving us alone. We watched the sunset create a magical glow Jefferson and Washington memorial and everything was pink and gold and purple.
It’s crazy that just three days prior the blossoms finally came into bloom and already they were falling to the ground. A brief and beautiful existence, a fleeting moment in time. When cherry blossom season rolls around there is always the intention of “going to see the blossoms” and then always the procrastination, “oh we can just see them tomorrow/next weekend/next year.” But I have always found that “lets do it some other time” usually means we’ll never get around to it. Sometimes there isn’t a ‘next time.’ Sometimes you only get four days to see the blossoms so you have to enjoy those blossoms in all their touristy glory because even if you came back next year it just wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t be today, here, us, alone underneath the secret tree in the middle of a cherry blossom storm with petals of pink swirling and dancing all around us like some surrealist Japanese movie.