03 December 06 - 01:06Why I was moved to tears when I saw sakura first timeWhen was it when I saw sakura first time? I have to recall. It was March 2005. That time I had just arrived to Japan, and I was heading from Narita to Tokyo by using the cheapest train. I had got a long flight through Amsterdam. In the amsterdam the airport guys were a bit rough on me. There was some turbulance and I wasn't feeling so well in the 747.
The Japanese professional who checked my luggage and passport was such a nice guy, and we chatted for about 10 minutes where to go to see sakura. That time I arrived Japan at 1st of April, so I was a bit late to see best bloom that year. So he recommend me to go to Sendai. To be greeted upon entering this country by such a kind professional, felt so nice.
Then, I was sitting in the train, seeing the morning scenery. It was sunny, clear day and it was so warm. A long sleeve shirt was enough. Then I passed this station called "sakura", and there it was. The tree stood alone, there was no sight of other sakura trees. It was old, and withered. The shade of the petals was more white than pink, as if the pink colour had been washed out from it.
The area was surrounded by rusty warehouses, and some old looking house and a lot of messy looking wires. Abandoned railwaytracks. Apparently some kind of storage area. As the train tilted a little on curve, the scenery of the power lines and houses in the distance disappeared. There was only sky and my favorite sakura tree of all times.
For a passing moment, I felt connected to all those people in the train. I felt like the tree spoke to me. "Here I am, I exist in this place". I felt a rush of emotion. The lonely tree seemed totally unaware of it's surroundings. Amazing beauty can exist any place.
After that, even the most rich and glorious scenery of blooming sakura, their petals dancing in the air when they fall, cannot compete with the first sakura tree I saw. I love that old and withered tree.
It reminds me of the Japan I know, the country where astonishing beauty comes to you in the moment when you least expect it.