Cherry Blossoms

by Harry T. Roman

At my Uncle Tony's wake I learned he had long ago planted many of the original cherry trees we now enjoy in Branch Brook Park. I had no idea my family had something to do with the annual April festivities that bring visitors from all over the globe. This certainly gave new meaning to those lovely floral displays. On my numerous trips through the park on the way home from work in downtown Newark, I somehow feel close to Uncle Tony, able to point proudly at his enduring work. "My uncle planted those trees", I can hear myself saying to an imagined companion. It makes a difference in your outlook.

Our family pictures contain various shots of us kids sitting on a blooming cherry tree branch or being held up to get a close look at the delicate, pink flowers. From a distance it used to appear to my child eyes that the flowers were literally fizzing out of the branches. It was hard to actually see that the flowers were on short stems. I can remember what it felt like to be showered with pink snow as the blossoms matured and fell prey to the light spring breezes.

Sometimes from my science class at Barringer High School, I could gaze across the big lake and see the first buds of Spring. If the windows were open, a warm breeze would tickle our adolescent skin, whispering promises of much warmer days to come. To high school seniors, this would usually trigger a virulent outbreak of "senioritis", curable only by graduation.

Amazing what those fuzzy pink and white blossoms can do to your senses. Little did we appreciate then, that like those blossoms, our youth was blooming too----flush and pink with promise. As I write these words, I notice a few of my blossoms taking to the wind. Spring for me was some time back.


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