Cherry blossoms, sakura, announce the arrival of spring. This time of year I find myself stealing glances down the waterfront from my travels to and fro over the Fremont Bridge. Last week, jury duty took me downtown for a couple days. The service was uneventful and I was dismissed by lunch time both days, allowing a chance for a closer look.
This is the view north toward the Steel Bridge at the south end of the Japanese American Historical Plaza.
On the day of my visit, the blossoms were not completely open. Not too late, I felt relief and satisfaction at not having missed the seasonal show.
Visits to this place are a poignant experience for me, reminding me of my early life in Tokyo so far away in distance and in time, and also because of the monument to the tragic experience of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.
The engraved poetry is simple but full of feeling, made all the more powerful in combination with the brilliant color of windblown cherry blossom petals and flowing water of the adjacent Willamette River.
On my visits to this place, I am confounded by the emotions stirred by these words in a setting filled with carefree picnickers smiling for snapshots. Seems incongruous but making sense of experiences like this is part of life. Of course I have been a picnicker here too.
I highly recommend making a visit to these blossoming trees on the waterfront. This place provides us the opportunity to confront and reflect upon an important piece of our national history and also experience the beauty and healing power of nature.