"Therefore you would never hang up a chrysanthemum scroll in spring, it would always be cherry blossom. So in a typical teahouse or room, the scroll would hang maybe just for the afternoon tea ceremony and then rolled and put away for years, so different to our Western culture of hanging pictures on the wall for years and years. I wouldn't mind a teahouse in the garden, utter simplicity, no furniture, a mat on the floor and peace and quiet bliss."
This I wrote some years ago when we lived in Chelmsford and there was a Japanese cherry blossom tree in the garden. Paul would warm some Saki wine up and then we would choose the little cups for drinking and then, after pouring each other's drink toast the tree.
Well tomorrow the 20th March is the Vernal Equinox, but also the start of the festival of Cherry blossom in Japan. My preference is of course Celtic, just greeting the changing of the seasons and the new growth of the year.
Funnily enough when looking for a poem in Grigson's The Cherry Tree, I find a lot of Shakespeare and Robert Herrick, but perhaps Housman captures the first sight of the blossoms.....
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands above the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Sadly my two cherry trees still hold fast to their buds, but there are wild cherry trees down the road, sour tiny red cherries later in the year, if you can pick any after the birds have scoffed the lot.