When the Sakura Bloom

by Narisa Togo is a stunning tribute to spring and, in particular, to the annual Japanese festival celebrating the pink cherry blossoms that show up for a brief, spectacular window of time. All winter, people pass the bare branches on their way to work and school without giving them a second glance. But, when spring arrives and the trees unfurl their flowers, “something is a little different this morning.” As the trees bloom cotton candy pink, the Sakura Festival begins, complete with food stands and brightly colored lanterns to illuminate the cherry trees at night. And then, with one stormy night, it’s all over and the blossoms turn into a “pink carpet”--until next year.