As I walked home through the city yesterday evening I noticed soft pink petals whipped up by the breeze.
Normally I walk quickly, eyes on the pavement, earphones in. But when I saw these delicate scraps of colour dancing in the air, I looked up. Next to the road were three blossoming cherry trees dusting the grass with pink snow, as the branches overflowed with elegant flowers.
I was struck by a number of thoughts as I stood there. Walking over to the trees felt like stepping into a different world, peaceful and beautiful in contrast to the noise and concrete efficiency of city streets. It felt like a return to nature.
And yet the neatly aligned trees surrounded by short green grass are no more natural than the tarmac roads adjacent to them. As much as it is easy to romanticise urban pockets of green as a return to nature, they are a product of the same systems that built the rest of the city.
I also felt incredibly lucky to have found such a beautiful space in the short time it exists. Another mood, another route, another day and I would’ve missed it. I could so easily have overlooked the contrast between the peaceful and the busy, or the ways they are linked.
I will be forever grateful
For cherry blossom in May