It is an annual renewal that takes place both outside, in the canopies of our parks and avenues, and inside, in our bodies, minds and heart. We humans are somehow mated with the flowering cherry trees. What they do, we do, each in our own fashion. And it almost doesn’t matter at first whether we know that it is happening. It happens in spite of us. Until we notice it, and then, wow, do we notice it. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival story is one of romance. It is an annual celebration that marks the reawakening in our community of all that makes us alive and human. We smile at one another. We take our lunches under the spreading blossoms. We spend the warming nights beneath illuminated clouds of flowers. We celebrate as men and women have celebrated since time immemorial, with poetry, music, dance, good food and drink, laughter, and love.

These fragile blossoms interrupt our drudgery and open us not only to the sweet energy of our own lives, but also to one another.  Under these cherry trees there are no strangers. This is a time for conversation, romance, inspiration and change. We remember once again that we are growing things.

And we are not alone. Beneath the cherry trees we are linked to millions more beneath their blossoms around the world: Tokyo, Hokkaido,  Beijing, Copenhagen, Paris, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Washington DC….Wherever people have planted prunus we share in an experience that exists for no other purpose than to celebrate our own brief lives.  For these few weeks we are one community, wide open to one another.  Beneath the blossoms we inhabit the entire world and we also embrace all time: the times past with loved ones under the trees, the times future encouraging us help make a better world for loved ones yet to come. And the time present, when petals become parted lips and eyes open wide in delight.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Throughout our city, and around the world, there are no strangers under these cherry trees.