Today, I went sakura-watching. It had been years since I had went to Cherry Blossom Park specifically to see the cherry blossoms and, with my renewed Japanese fetish, I was keenly aware that the blossoms would be prime this weekend. I was worried that it was going to rain. Well, it turns out that there is no rain but it was a little on the chilly side. Not a cloud was in the blue blue sky and it made a beautiful contrast with the billowing pink and white blossoms.
My mom, Mike, Els, and Jean at the park
It was to be a lunch picnic with my mom, Mike, Els, and her girlfriend Jean. About halfway through the lunch, we all decided that it was a bit too cold and it was really dumb for us to sit in the shade. Mike made the observation that a majority of the people strolling in the park were Asian, specifically Asian familes. The family having a picnic lunch nearby were Asian and all in the sun.
Jean and Els
After eating, Mike and I went off for a stroll while Jean and Els practiced and took a stroll themselves.
We took a walk by the side of a babbling brook that, if you held perfectly still, could hear above the din of the passing cars and the families with kids passing by us (the park isn't called Branch Brook Park for nothing).
"Mike, hold on. I want to take a picture of this tree."
I stop walking and bring my camera to my eye, attempting to center the tree in my field of vision. I take a few steps forward, then a few steps back, trying to center the tree. "Darnit, for some reason I can't get a good centering composition."
"You're trying to center it?"
"Hasn't anyone taught you the concept of threes when taking pictures?"
I paused and thought back to my photography days. I vaguely remember something about that. "Yeah, kinda."
"Here, let me take a picture."
Mike takes the camera from my hands and composes his picture. Snap. He hands it back. "Look at that and tell me what you think."
"Wow. That's good."
The bridge, photo by Mike
I notice a couple on the other side of the bridge. "Hey Mike, can we go up there?" I point to the bridge.
I eagerly make my way up the steep slope to the bridge.
On the bridge
Looking from the high point in the park, I spot a beautiful cherry tree stretching over the river. "Look at that, sweetheart. Isn't that pretty?"
Mike turns to me. "Yes, very."
We walk down to get a closer look.
Eileene and the Tree
"Hey pumpkin, you should take a picture of that branch." He points.
"It's too high for me," I whine.
"Here, let me, then."
Cherries and Pine, photo by Mike
"Okay, handsome. Now it's your turn."
"Wait." He adjusts the flower in his ear. He composes himself and smiles widely. "Okay, now I'm ready."
My handsome prince
Mike picks up my can of pop and we start to walk back up to the bridge. I spot an interesting shot. "Hold up a moment, sweetie. Let me take this picture."
I snap my shot and show him the image.
"I like that," he comments. "The two curves make the picture interesting."
Cherries and Pine, Eileene's version
I point to a large cherry willow. "Can we take our pictures under that, sweetheart?"
"Sure, cutie. Where?"
"On the other side where there is light."
"Oh man, it's windy. Do you think you can get a good picture."
"I'll get one."
Mike, in between breezes
We decide to start making our way back to the car, slowly. I spot two lovely cherry trees, one white and one pink on the opposite hill. I pause to snap a picture.
"That'll be a nice shot," Mike comments.
We get to the car and discover that Els and Jean aren't there. I ask Mike what time it is.
"Oh boy, they are cutting it close for the one o'clock movie. Let's look for them."
Mike nods and starts to take off down the park path. I take it easy and walk slowly, trying to soak up the sun and watch the blossom petals drift down with the breeze. I stop under a large tree and snap one last picture. I think to myself, I bet that one's a keeper.
Yes, I saw The Matrix again with Els and Jean. It was considerably better since, unlike Mike, they were laughing at the funny parts and there was someone behind us that laughed with us too. I think people find it easier to laugh and let go when others around them are willing to do so.
I wonder if I can get my dad to watch it. Number four!