Yokohama, Japan - The last petal of the last cherry blossom of spring has finally fallen to the ground signaling the official end to the hanami season. Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is an annual spring ritual celebrated by everyone, young and old, form one end of this archipelago to the other. Practically every major (and minor) league corporation will send some of their best scouts out in the wee hours of the morning to stake out prime sections of real estate in local city parks where the rest of the corporate team will join them later for hours of drunken revelry in a hazy swirl of falling posies. Shrines noted for their abundance of cherry trees will rope off their entrance ways where long lines of people wait an eternity, poised to enjoy a picture perfect picnic. While pink is not alway a flattering color, Tokyo wears it well. If you pack yourself a boxed lunch and sit in the shade of your computer, you can enjoy your own virtual hanami at the Tokyo Times website.
My wife, M.Y. (perhaps you know her dear reader), was so busy this past month she didn't have any time to sit on a soft the blanketed landscape and take in the wonder of the season. That's why when the other day I spied the dead branch of a cherry tree, I knew I had the perfect gift in sight. I sawed a small sliver of the branch and after noticing that the grain of the wood resembled a tree trunk, I adorned it with a painstakingly hand painted cluster of pink posies and voila! M.Y. was tickled pink with it. What can I say it's just a very special, unique, lovingly handcrafted work of art made exrpressly for the one I love.
I'm thinking maybe I'll cut up the rest of the branch into a few hundred more slivers, paint 'em up exactly the same and sell them for a buck a piece (half price if you order now).