What spring does with cherry trees
Text Micol Arianna Beltramini
The cherry blossoming in Japan have anticipated its course this year: it began at the end of March and it will end at the beginning of May. The Japan Meteorological Agency provides the dates each year: the tradition of observing the blooming sakura has a name that sounds like a sigh – hanami. For the Japanese, it is a celebration that is at least as good as Christmas for us: from all over the country they go under the cherry trees and, lying on the ground a blue cloth by convention, they eat and drink surrounded by the rose petals and the new fragrance of the sky. Cherry blossoms represent purity and ephemeral beauty: their flowering is like a warning – the promise of spring can only run out in a flash. For the same reason the poem associates them with the samurai and the kamikaze, whose youth is consecrated to the premature self-sacrifice. One of the most important masters of haiku, Kobayashi Issa, loved sakura as only who brings them in can do: «Cherry blossoms when it is getting evening / even today / became yesterday». Fabrizio De Andrè dedicated the song A doctor to the sense of nostalgia intrinsically connected to the hanami: «As a child I wanted to heal the cherry trees / when red with fruit I believed them injured / For me, health had left them / with the snowy flowers they’d lost». Pablo Neruda concluded one of his most well-known poems: «I want to do with you / what spring does with cherry trees». Faliero Sarti continues the homage to the hanami reproducing the wonder on a precious scarf: maybe we will not be able to sit under the cherry trees this year, but at least we can bring them to the heart.