Cherry blossom festival is the best week in Washington DC, and always falls on my birthday. I wrote an entire scene in The Fire set during that first week in April.
Here is a vase filled with cherry blossoms from my own tree, a 60-foot tall ornamental cherry planted fifty years ago by the famous potter Teruo Hara.
Below is a picture of the same tree today, planted down in the gully, it soars way above my Japanese house.
My cherry tree at the Japanese House
Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad in foreign lands.
I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.
If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships…
By Robert Louis Stevenson