Flowers bring memories of Japan

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2005

Editor’s note: This weekend it seems fitting to publish this column about cherry blossoms because of the rush of color flooding the senses of Selma residents this spring, as fruit trees and flowers bloom everywhere.

In the spring of the year, when a moist netting hangs low over the earth, I remember Japan and cherry trees in blossom. In clouds of soft pink they floated above the tidal basin near our Yokohama home, the dark waters reflecting their loveliness in perfect detail. As silver streaks of rain fell upon them, their images rippled out of focus but the beauty remained, accented by the orange flame of a lantern swinging from an oncoming noodle cart. The plaintive whistle of the cart Has it rounded the curving stone wall enhanced the dream-like quality of the scene. It is a memory I like to recall. On Tuesday evening it returned to me unbidden when I caught my first glimpse of the new lighting in place at The Old Depot Museum. The replica Gantique lamps cast a golden glow against the old building and threw against its walls a shadowy tracing of the branches of the blossoming Bradford pears planted on the grounds. A fine mist hung above the scene, and held it in gold and silver images reflected in crystal droplets of moisture. For a moment I listened for the melodic whistle of the noodle cart, then realized we were on historic Water Avenue in a setting as beautiful as any I enjoyed in Japan. And the words of a favorite poem sprang into mind:

“Look for a lovely thing and you will find it, &It is not far – It never will be far.”

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Drive down Water Avenue while the trees are in bloom and you, too, will find it. The pears are also blossoming at First Alabama Bank, along Dallas Avenue across from old Live Oak Cemetery, and in many other places. Their beauty lifts the heart. On another positive note: A thank you to The Times-Journal for the excellent HORIZON’S edition produced by its staff, who spent untold hours writing, editing, photographing and publishing a positive view of our too often maligned city. We are placing a copy in the museum’s reference room, for present and future use of the excellent material in the edition. Positive people make our world a better place, and there were plenty of positive folks and good news for the community at EDA’s annual meeting and reception last week. It was fun to meet and greet owners of new business enterprises in town, fun to meet and greet old friends from – Selma’s industrial community. Selma also made news with the annual Bridge Crossing Festival. There were thousands of people in town for the entertainment and festivities, all of which reinforced a positive image for our nice town.

And for those people who are not yet certain how blessed our community is in many, many ways, let me repeat once more this verse from Sara Teasdale’s lovely poem, “Barter:” “Look for a lovely thing and you will find it, ‘It is not far – it never will be far.”

“Sometimes, it’s right under our noses.”