Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Thank You Yukio Ozaki.

We're a mere 18 days away from Ostara, a name that modern witches give to the Spring Equinox. My garden and trees are shrouded in snow. Last night, the wind wailed like a bereft lover and the stars held solemn wake in the ice-clear sky. Miss Thing and I huddled, I swathed in sweatshirts and socks, beneath cotton covers, duvets, tightly-woven tapestry, linen sheets. This morning, there was ice forming, again, on the beautiful Potomac River, just above the spot where it runs by the Lincoln Memorial.

And, yet, all my thoughts are for the Kore, for the maiden, for She-who-has-been-missed, for Spring. (Long before the xians sent their son god up from the underworld after a three-day stay, my pipple, well, you know. Eleusias.) I want to eat peas, and spring greens spiced with slices of radish, and violet petals. I want to drink warm cream from a gentle cow, and wild parsley tea, and melted ice. I want to dance barefoot on sun-warmed new grass and I want to bury my nose in a baby's scalp and smell that perfect smell.

In my lovely city by the river, one of the loveliest signs that Spring, has, indeed, returned from the underworld, is when the cherry blossoms, planted mainly along the city's Tidal Basin, bloom. The exact date when they'll bloom is, in this ancient city, a subject of debate, and augury, and record keeping, and instinct. A warm day in February, a chill wind in March, even a few cloudy days in April -- almost anything can throw off the best guesses of ancient and practiced blossom watchers, of large computers humming in the basements of sandstone government buildings, of learned scientists at the Smithsonian, of lovers planning picnics, of merchants making magical amulets.

One of the THE most magical nights of my life came nigh on 20 years ago, when the blossoms unexpectedly bloomed in mid-March, under a huge full Moon that shone just above the Jefferson Memorial, and I was in love with the Moon and Jefferson and the water and the trees and the blossoms and I learned, through pleasure sharp as a lover's whip, that this city, on a river, with monuments of marble and statues of alabaster and fountains of opal and quartz, was, indeed, built of magic and indeed needed sex to keep it alive.

The cherry blossoms are a koan for the Charge of the Goddess: [K]now that the seeking and yearning will avail you not. No picture of them, no video, no written description can give you the experience of being surrounded by millions and millions of cherry blossoms. I have experienced them in the sunrise, the warm mid day, the sunset, the moonrise, the sudden snow. I have flown home from across the globe and gotten cab drivers to stop for me at the Tidal Basin, dropped my bags, kicked off my pumps, and run to the water's edge to see the last pink blossoms floating softly on the gentle waves. I have loved them at that most magical moment when the sun is thinking of setting and the temperature drops the first degree and these "scentless" blooms give up their scent and you are in the arms of the Goddess, you are making love to the world, you are dancing naked in silks across the sky, you are, well, you are breathing in Gaia saying "Namaste," and it's all, it's all, it's all just, it's all just Spring in Washington, DC.

Photo here.


clymela said...

This is so beautiful- a hymn to spring

Ruth said...

A magical time. I've been to the Tidal Basin for that experience many, many times. Will do so again, one of these days.

Sia said...

What a wonderful prose poem you've given us. Thank you.

I've seen these trees in D.D. at just that spot but I have never seen them in bloom. I'm so glad that they have you and people like you to dance with.

You make me remember trees I have loved, including an elderly dogwood and two cherry trees that graced the courtyard of my old apartment building in college. When these bloomed, I felt in my bones and by the singing in m blood that spring had come to my little patch of ground. I've loved such trees ever since and count them as friends.


Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE said...

I agree - that moment at twilight when you can smell the blossoms is my very favorite time to be there. Spouse and I usually meet after work one evening to enjoy the blossoms and then walk to a nearby restaurant with outdoor seating for dinner.

pluky said...

Dad was stationed (Army) in Japan for my first two years of high school. Walking the back hill path to band practice, cherrys in full bloom on either side, then through the old Torii-Mon at the end . . . Indeliable.