The Japanese passion for cherry blossoms has a contagious legitimacy. Every year, Americans make a pilgrimage to their capital in early spring to attend the 3,000 cherry blossoms show they received as a gift from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki in 1912. Although, if we were given a choice, we, as members of the Society of Reluctant Travelers, would rather decline the study of the sculptor Isamu Noguchi in New York, whose patio is planted, needless to say, with a silent sakura (cherry tree)who watches over his sculptures, some of the few pieces carved by man that do not pale before the beauty —chromatic, aromatic, graphic— of these fragile and ephemeral creatures of the vegetable kingdom that are the flowers of the cherry tree.
In Mexico, the city of Mérida , Yucatán, explodes in these dates of reds and yellows thanks to the guayacanes and tabachines that, according to what they tell, the politician, journalist and revolutionary Felipe Carrillo Puerto ordered to be planted in a fantastic floral communist gesture. In the capital of Tabasco , the pink of the macuilí is added to these two colors . In Puerto Vallarta, the yellow is due to the redundantly called “Primavera ” tree , which, like the guayacán, is from the Tabeuia family . In the central valleys of Oaxaca , Lent is announced with the appearance of some delicate fuchsia flowersknown as “coquitos”, or Bombax elipticum .
In Mexico City , the arrival of spring is synonymous with blooming jacaranda trees : those who travel from March to May must ensure that their bedroom window faces a park, a plaza or, at least, a wooded ridge. And, if possible, visit the lilac patio that the architect Luis Barragán dedicated to this tree in the house he built for the Gilardi family in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood.
Now, the jacaranda is a tree native to South America , where, by the way, what for us are spring times rather brings the most forceful autumn phenomena: in Patagonia, for example, the intermittency of clouds and rains translate into fabulous skies, which only serve as a background, along with the glaciers, to the forests tinged with reds, oranges, ochres and yellows.
Y si bien en Canadá la primavera se asocia con los tulipanes que tapizan los parques de Ottawa desde que la familia real holandesa enviara 100,000 bulbos de su flor nacional en agradecimiento a este país que hospedó a la princesa Juliana durante la ocupación nazi, lo cierto es que a pocos kilómetros de ahí, en los bosques de Quebec, el calor y los botones tardan más en llegar. Por eso, en aquella provincia francófona la primavera se celebra esquiando, o bien en cabañas rodeadas de nieve, donde se degustan festines en torno al jarabe de los maples, cuya savia empieza a escurrir con los primeros deshielos, y se recoge de la superficie helada para enrollarla en una rama, y formar las más dulces, viscosas y rústicas paletas de temporada.
Going hundreds or thousands of kilometers in search of a whim of nature — which, as a good whim, can afford to go ahead or lag or … just not happen — is one of those poetic acts that we like the most. But that is because we have learned to recognize, by surprise, that a single branch is actually loaded with flowers to happen, if not that it has just dropped the last petals of the year. And not only that, also, that every single branch is a drawing; a wooden sculpture that should be stopped to discover.
Are you ready for your spring whim ?