I have to say that I was pretty devastated when a friend told me before I left Ithaca that I would be missing the cherry blossoms in DC. Every year I come to DC at the end of April, just a tad too late to experience the beautiful blooms. However, this year, I was supposed to be here at optimal blooming… only spring came early and then it snowed. I was bitterly disappointed.
Of course, much of the city of Washington, DC is currently in bloom. Around the Capitol, many paths are lined with flowering dogwood trees and azaleas. The pinks and whites of all different shades are simply beautiful, and they have really enhanced my week on the Hill. Nevertheless, due diligence on the cherry blossom issue meant that I walked down to the Tidal Basin in between meetings this week to try to find me a cherry tree in bloom. The sky was beautiful, the sun was shining, the cool breeze was blowing. It was such a stark difference from the upstate New York that I had left where snow was still on the ground. In fact, until I went to college in the South, I had never understood why anyone could like spring; my understanding of it was grey, wet, and cold. The calendar designation of “summer” mid-June was about when it was acceptable to stop wearing winter clothing. So there I was, in a dress, by the water, and remembering why spring is beautiful. Yet, all of the trees were green. I was too late. Torn between the beautiful day and confirmation of my disappointment, I walked away from the Basin. And then I found it. One lone cherry tree but very much in bloom. I am not really sure how it survived, maybe it was just more sheltered away from the open water, but there it was. It made my day.