Monday, March 16, 2020

In the expectation of spring - the Sunlight Sakura and other blossoms

Around the Vernal Equinox Day, “Yoko Sakura” (Cerasus 'Yoko'), one of the varieties of early blooming cherry trees, encourage people that the real arrival of spring is just around the corner.  It has started blooming earlier than usual this year. When I saw it for the first time some years ago, I fell in love with the loveliness of the bright pink petals and the plump swelling buds and was happy to see "Yoko" on its name plate. Both the Sakura 陽光 and my name 洋子, meaning sunlight and ocean child respectively, are written "Yoko" in Roman alphabets.

There is a heart-warming story behind the Sunlight Sakura, about a man who cultivated his own variety of the tree and sent seedlings all over the world as a symbol of peace and friendship between nations. (Source; Blooming Ambassadors)  The story was filmed in 2015, Yoko The Cherry Blossom .

The Sunlight Sakura is a crossbreed between Hikan-sakura (Taiwan Cherry) and  Amagi-yoshino.  It inherited the ability to brave hot and dry climates from the former and the resilience in windy and cold weather from the latter.

The kindergarten life of the boy Y was abruptly stopped Feb, 28 with only two weeks left for the farewell to the teachers and friends.  Not only grandchildren but also adults have felt at loose ends due to the sudden school closure and canceled events and personal activities.  I think school closure is a good idea because the young who generally show no or few symptoms can give SARS-CoV-2 uncounsciou to the people who are likely to develop severe COVID-19 and to die.  Various measures have been taken to slow down the speed of the viruses spreading.  The most important now is to reduce fatalities and to keep medical care system in good shape so that the people with high-risk can be protected and saved.

Japanese cornel has the bright yellow flowers in early spring.

I have often been reminded by my blog friends how many tree blossoms I'm blessed with.  In winter, there are Japanese cornel, Ume (Japanese apricot), Sasanqua camellia, Winter camellia....,to name a few.

Winter Camellias flower during the dull days of winter.

I'm thankful to the blossoms and flowers which have consoled me with their blooms.

Some of the flowers from my garden

The 3rd of March was Dolls' Festival. I only displayed the dolls of the top tier this year.  Despite the sinking mood of the time, grandchildren simply enjoy the time of being together more often than usual as long as no one is ill. The new school year is due to start in three weeks.

The youngest M likes to pose "Rabbit" when photographed.

Though life continues with utmost caution and care, I am not overly scared by the surging number of the confirmed cases worldwide.  If infected in spite of my preventive measures, it can't be helped.  On a positive note, I get antibody to the virus.  Nearly 80 percent of the confirmed cases are mild illnesses, ... though it's uncertain how I'd be.  I'd like to believe that under the wise leadership of the crisis management, each and every one's responsible attitude including preventive measures both not to catch and to spread, orderly act when necessary, and patience, will lead to the overcome of the SARS-Coronavirus-2 as a nation and then as a world.

My prayers and thoughts are with you all.


  1. Gorgeous post ! The flowers are stunning and your grandchildren, so cute !
    Take care ! Be safe !

  2. Very beautiful photos as always. Your grandchildren are so cute. You know how I love coming every year to your blog to see how nicely you capture the lovely blossoms of your country and the artistic way you present the blossom. I agree the blossoms are earlier this year but it is quite cold here so I haven't been able to get out for photos during the sunnier days.

  3. Hello, love the beautiful cherry blossoms. Cute kiddies and adorable photos. Lovely post.
    Stay safe and healthy, calm and happy. Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

  4. Haha … we have a saying, cute as a bunny! All these children are soooo cute with or without rabbit ears. It seems right that your name means sunlight and ocean child. These lovely things suit you! With wise leadership and responsible citizens who take their roles seriously in not spreading the virus, things will improve eventually. Our connections to one another are undeniable. Taking care of one is how you take care of all and vice versa.

  5. With spring almost all nature is reborn to enchant our gaze. Beautiful flowers to ease our heart from so many worries because of COVID-19
    I loved the children's mosaic. How sweet and beautiful is little Y in the rabbit pose.
    Have a nice and flowery week.
    Stay safe and healthy
    A Big hug from Portugal

  6. It is so uplifting to see your beautiful blossom Yoko especially at this time when so many are worried about what the future might be holding for so many. We must count our blessing, enjoy our wonderful grandchildren, but take care.

  7. Awesome post!Adorable kids and stunning flowers!

  8. Yoko - your post has helped raise my mood. Although we have few confirmed cases in my state, my husband and I are taking our isolation seriously, and it is very hard, especially for him since he is a very social person. So I need some color, and light, and hope. Between the flowers and the children (adorable) you have done that for me. Thanks for taking the time to link to Mosaic Monday, and stay well.

  9. What a wonderful deed the Sunlight Sakura breeder did--creating a hardy species to share with the world in peace and friendship. An uplifting story. Also a reminder for me that all will be well. Take care, Yoko. :-)

  10. Beautiful trees and flowers, the cherry blossom has always been a favorite of mine.
    Be safe, stay in and peace
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  11. What beautiful shots! Nice to see spring coming your way. I agree - most of us will get the virus in spite of our best efforts. But I feel terrible for all those dying of the virus right now and for their families.

  12. your approach to life and to share it's beauty is excellent dear Yoko!

    i found these images so uplifting and engaging
    this is peace to know that you got antibody and i pray may it be the source of protection for you and family

    kind of emergency is declared here too ,everything is closed down including schools and every place where people can group up i agree this precaution is good and wise and hope things will get better soon for all inhabitants of this planet
    how sweet that your grand kids were able to enjoy school event ,this is relief in such hard time indeed
    please take good care
    stay healthy and safe my friend!

  13. dear Yoko
    i am here to apologize for my misunderstanding of your content within last few lines
    i am not quite well to have more attentive mind( feverish and flu) so i may be missed the word "if " you mentioned
    i am sorry my friend!

  14. So was I! Lovely blooms and lovely name - Yoko Sakura:)
    Your flowers and little “rabbits” make a welcome break from bombarding frustrating news about Coronavirus. My life now is dictated by quarantine at the university: sending-receiving-checking tasks or working via skype. I would like to feel optimistic but recent exponential spread makes me really worried.
    Take good care, dear Yoko!

  15. Hello Yoko, It's so wonderful to see your blooms and the grandchildren's smiling faces. My son's friend Jon says that Tokyo is mostly back to normal. Is that the case in Nara? I hope so. Our country is still closed down by the virus. Both the governor of CO and the mayor of Breckenridge ask that people isolate and keep a strict social distance. Bob and I were in isolation for 16 days after visiting what later became a CO hotspot for the virus. We were relieved to pass 2 weeks still feeling well. Today, we broke isolation to get groceries but were very careful about disinfecting when we arrived back home. I think of you and your family often. I'm glad you still can spend time with the grandchildren. Ours haven't visited for several weeks. Stay well!

  16. Que maravilla de flores!!. Gracias por compartirlas. Ahora nos conformamos viéndolas desde casa. Esperemos que todo esto pase pronto y podamos volver a hacer vida normal
    Deseo que tú y tu familia esten bien.
    Cuídate Yoko que nos tocan tiempoes difíciles
    Desde casa te mando este abrazo 🙅

  17. yes indeed, you have beautiful blooms. We seem far from flowers still with snow still on the ground at home.

    Your little dolls are adorable.

    Wishing you the best, today and always.

  18. 桜の花びらが柔らかくてきれい。



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