Beginnings of Spring

Beginnings of Spring

Spring in Portland is my absolutely favorite time of year; the morning is crisp and the city begins to reawaken with the sporadic moments of sun. Despite being known for its rainy weather, this experience always makes me thankful I live in a city that embraces every season. 

The true marker for the arrival of spring is the blooming of the cherry blossoms (Sakura) and magnolia trees across the city. Their flowers bloom for only a short period of time every year before they wilt, and fall and the cycle begins again. The opportunity to witness the beauty of their full bloom is fleeting, and is strongly cherished by locals and tourists alike

The Japanese have a term for this kind of moment called 'Mono no Aware'. It is a reference to the temporal nature of things and is based on a philosophy of living in the present. 

In honor of the beautiful blossoms, I decided to take my film camera and spend my day off at the Japanese American Historical Plaza on the waterfront...

Note: In true film fashion, I ended up putting the lens on incorrectly, which resulted in these oddly abstract images. Oh well! 

... known for its 100 perfectly planted Sakura trees which were gifted from Japan to commemorate the opening of the plaza. Though this collection of cherry trees don’t have the longest-running history among other cherry blossom sites worldwide, it carries with it a reminder of the hardships that the Japanese community in America experienced during World War II. 

Despite the heaviness of our countries history, the gorgeous sight of these trees are a celebration and dedication to cultural diversity and human rights. 

The cherry blossoms only last for about 7-14 days a year so make sure to catch them while you can!

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