Years ago i worked in the UW’s Registration Office. Every spring, i’d get parents who’d ask, toward the end of the conversation, “And are the cherry blossoms out yet??” Every spring! Over and over, the same question!! I didn’t work anywhere near where the cherry blossoms are on campus so i had no idea. Moreover, who cares if there are cherry trees blooming on campus?? I love blooming trees, don’t get me wrong, but come on.
Then i switched jobs to an office that was closer to the Quad, which is where the much-heard-about cherry blossoms are. The 1st spring that i worked there i decided to randomly walk thru’ the Quad on my way home, just because it was one of the 1st nice days that year — a sunny day, warm enough to not need a coat.
I walked across Red Square. Past Suzzallo Library, past Kane Hall. Toward the steps up to the Quad….
I came to a dead standstill for a few seconds. Then i started walking around, near-breathless. Getting giddier and giddier. Getting practically tipsy.
These pictures are crap — tho’ today was sunny the lighting in the Quad was horrible, and i was just using my phone anyway. But, y’know? I really don’t know how to convey to you just what an amazing experience it is to stand there in the middle of the Quad surrounded by trees that are just bursting all over with light-pink flowers. It’s like you’re walking amongst clouds. You’re practically floating. And the scent! It takes you a moment at 1st to realize that the air is different, and then you slowly realize you’re smelling millions of tiny blossoms.
It is sublime. It’s transcendent. It leaves me buoyant.
If you are ever in Seattle in early spring, you must — MUST — visit the UW campus to see the cherry blossoms in the Quad. Bring a blanket and a picnic (but no sake — it’s a state school, so campus is dry). Make an afternoon of it.