I haven’t blogged all winter. I’ve been in hibernation, I guess. Winter isn’t my best season, no matter where I live. It’s better here than Washington State. The sky is brighter, the days are longer and while it is cold and the wind blows, the sun does shine, however low in the sky.
Now the time has changed, baseball season has begun and the blooming of the cherry blossoms marks the official start of spring (and tourist season) in DC. Last year, we were here on vacation during the Cherry Blossom Festival and I remember thinking to myself that they are pretty, but we had blossoms just as beautiful in Washington. I didn’t really get the hype. Now that I have spent a winter here, I understand it.
In Western Washington, no matter what time of year it is, it’s green. In fact, it’s something that I remember people marveling about upon visiting for the first time…”It’s so green”, they always say. Yes, 8 months of rain will have that effect. So, when the cherry blossoms mark the arrival of spring, you now have a splash of color against the colorful green background. It’s beautiful and I looked forward to it every year.
Here, winter is stark and gray. Trees are abundant, but they lose their leaves and everything just looks dead. This is the canal that runs along my route to work — it gives you a good idea of what things look like around here in the winter.
It’s not much to look at. As a point of reference, here is a picture of the cherry trees that line the Tidal Basin in DC. It looks kind of pretty with the snow, but I couldn’t find one without the snow — because quite frankly, there would be no reason to take such a picture. It’s just not that pretty.
But, then the blossoms bloom and it changes everything. All of a sudden there is color against the dull, bleak, bare winter. It’s absolutely magnificent and understand now why people flock to them.
Visiting DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival has been compared to going to Disney World at Christmas. It is a zoo and you need to pack every bit of patience that you have. Perhaps living here requires even more patience. But, it really is worth seeing. If you haven’t, put it on your bucket list.