The Cherry Blossoms in High Park

At Gabe Mansour’s farewell party on Tuesday night, Sacha Chua reminded me that the cherry blossoms were blooming in High Park this week, a little bit ahead of schedule. Since Anitra was in town, I took her for a walk through the park late yesterday afternoon, and while we were at it, we snapped these pics.

If you get the chance, head down to the park and check them out! Be warned: cherry blossoms come and go really quickly. They’re expected to fall to the ground by next week. If you want to see them in bloom while they’re still on the trees, see them as soon as possible.

The park was filled with many Japanese visitors. In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms — sakura — figure very prominently. The big clumps in which they bloom are said to resemble clouds, which in turn symbolize to the Japanese mind the transitory, non-permanent, ever-changing nature of life.

They also symbolize impermanence — one of the themes in Buddhism — in the way in which they come and go: all at once, and but for a brief, beautiful moment, after which they disappear. They often appear in Japanese art, from paintings to manga to anime to tattoos.

The photo above is my attempt at an “art” shot: looking at the park from under a cherry three, through its blossoms.

We found this little fella perched on a low branch on a nearby tree and couldn’t resist getting a shot.

The path leading south of the Grenadier restaurant is lined with cherry trees, and the blossoms form a sort of canopy over it. It’s gorgeous and worth the walk.

I always take one pick of Anitra walking ahead of me and looking back to see if I’m there.

Here’s the obligatory arm’s-length self-portrait:

The trees line the path all the way down to Grenadier Pond:

If you get a chance today or tomorrow — and possibly this weekend, should they last so long — head down to High Park and take in the cherry blossoms!

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