Except for a few hours of sun, and one glorious sunny Saturday, it has been cold and rainy and foggy the past couple of weeks. I watched as the mountains turned green and watched as the blossom trees popped to life, coloring the town — every street and every corner — with delicate pink blossoms. After a couple of stormy windy nights I wondered if there would be any blossoms left for me to enjoy when — IF — the weather finally behaved.
I got my wish last Friday. The weather was too perfect to stay indoors. Once again I mapped out my mountain trail from my apartment window, following the line of cherry trees as it ‘skirted’ around the base of the mountain. This was the supposed easy trail and at first it certainly started off that way. After I passed all the vendors I turned right at the park and followed a paved, blossom lined trail complete with classical music playing on bug-shaped speakers attached to lamp posts. I really didn’t have any idea where I was going, I just followed the blossoms. I veered off the trail to explore groves growing beside what I thought were gardens and past older ladies foraging in the woods for some kind of plant. I passed a group of women having a picnic in the woods and passed another group of ladies singing old Korean songs.
About half-way around the mountain the cherry blossom trail diverged, one arm leading up the side of the mountain and the other leading down into a valley. I went up, but not all the way. Just enough to see the beginnings of the city appear below me before I decided to turn around and head home.
The hike was beautiful; the cherry trees so abundant and the blossoms at peak bloom. Bright green leaves and violets and vibrant yellows sprouted everywhere. The forest felt alive again and on the verge of exploding in full color. It was short sleeve and sandal weather and every now and then a gust of warm humid air would hit me in the face and make me regret praying for warmer weather. And then the next day and following week it was back to cold and dreary and foggy and drizzly. Then I caught a cold of some sort and then I regretted not spending that entire Friday outdoors, in the mountains, among the blossoms. I regretted not climbing to the top.