The cherry trees are blossoming around here, aren't they beautiful? The bees think so, they love them! The ones at the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. began blooming on Thursday. Their two week National Cherry Blossom Festival draws 1 million visitors a year. Even though I was born and raised in D.C., I have never been to one of the festivals. Japan gave us those trees in 1912, and about 100 of the original 3,000 are still growing. Beside being a yearly symbol of spring, they also symbolize the friendship between the U.S. and Japan. And now they are blooming for the 99th time, as Japan is reeling from the deaths of at least 18,000 people. A fundraising walk and vigil will be held among the trees. So now not only will the trees be a symbol of the rebirth of spring, but also of Japan. That's what friends are for.
"The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom...they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God." Isaiah 35