Footfalls of Spring :: Portland Cherry Blossoms

"I heard the footfall of the flower spring." - Sappho

In Greek Mythology, Persephone the maiden of spring ushered in the renewal of the Earth with her footsteps.  

According to myth, Persephone spends six months a year in the Underworld with her husband (and abductor) Hades.  During her departure, Persephone's mother Demeter, the goddess of harvest (and marriage) mourns her daughter's absence. As Demeter grieves, so to does the Earth, slumbering until Persephone's rebirth in the spring.

With the spring equinox last week the blooming cherry trees in Portland, I would say, Persephone is back in town. 

I mean, look at these cotton-candy Truffula trees! Okay, they are not really the trees from The Lorax, they are cherry blossoms planted for the Japanese-American Historical Plaza (on the NW Portland waterfront). 

In 1942, when Japan and the United States were at war, citizens of Japanese descent from Oregon, California and Washington were rounded up and forced to live in isolation camps for three years.

Over 110, 000 people were affected and many lost everything they owned. This memorial plaza was planted a few blocks away from such a camp in Portland called Nihonmachi, "Japan Town".

There is something so refreshing about spring, but not just the cherry blossoms, or the satisfaction of cleaning your stove for the first time in 7 years (guilty), it is about being a part of a cycle that has been going on for a millennium on Earth.

Witnessing life wake up again.  Recognizing the cycle of life and taking a moment to marvel at that.
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