Thursday, 15 April 2010

When nature greets the city

I'd been hearing about the infamous Korean cherry blossoms all throughout winter. "Just wait! All this cold will be worth it when you see the pretty flowers," my co-teacher said one day, as we froze ourselves at school.

"When will they arrive?" I asked, hopeful of a beautiful vision that I could look forward to in the months ahead.

"Spring, of course!" she said. "Somewhere in March."

Of course.

Flash forward to the middle of April.

The blossoms hadn't yet arrived. There were trips planned by tourism companies to take visitors on grand 'cherry blossom tours'. Though they still went ahead, there were none to be seen. Luckily, I held back on the tours, for fear of freezing to death... camera held firmly in hand.

I did take a short day-trip to Yeouido Island in the heart of Seoul, looking for these special trees. Again, I was at a loss, save for a few blooms in the ground.

Then, last Saturday morning, I awoke to the following scene outside my window.

The first of the cherry blossoms on my street in Anam.

I was pleasantly surprised and absolutely thrilled. These flowers had literally bloomed overnight. I was even more excited at the prospect of seeing the beauty without having to leave my apartment.

Flash forward to six days later, and this is the current scene.

If you'll note, the second tree has also taken full bloom.

This is the view along my street in Anam. The flowers have completely canopied what used to be a bare and rather lifeless street in terms of nature. Beautiful, isn't it?

There's something very 'Asian' about the cherry blossoms. I know it sounds silly, but I've usually related them to Japanese gardens and zen parks. It's so amazing that I get to see them every day, as I walk up and down the street in Seoul. It's just another one of the lovely surprises this city has thrown my way.

Here are the blossoms, up close. They're very dainty looking.

It's an amazing sight when they're up against the dark, night sky. They stand out so perfectly, and almost seem to glow, lighting up the entire street. I wish you could see them in reality.

As one of my students put it, "The blossoms make my eyes happy!"

So, here's to Spring finally swinging by the Land of Morning Calm. And here's to all your lives blossoming into something rather special in the weeks ahead!


1 comment:

  1. It must be a great sight to see. You are lucky to have this opportunity.


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