Despite re-touched postcards, D.C. is truly beautiful for about 38 days a year. 18 come in what now counts as Spring. The remaining 20? Scattered across the Fall. These are glorious days.
Otherwise, because our Founders wisely selected swamped land for their capital, days are by turns staggeringly humid or clammy, oppressive and cold. We are now in our supposed 18 beautiful days.
A key ritual heralding the arrival of Spring are cherry blossoms. Not just the gifts from Japan surrounding the Tidal Basin. Across assorted neighborhoods blossoms offer a spellbinding canopy that attracts embassy staff, tourists and locals alike.
This year the blossoms have not come out to play. Nattering ankle-biters will point to petty factoids like the weather. We know the truth. They are paying somber respects. They know about the potentially 100 year struggle to contain Fukushima and care for over half a million homeless
100 years. Something to think about as a Nation economically and even culturally intertwined with Japan turns its lonely eyes (and half a billion dollars plus) to a non-descript strip of sand on behalf of people we’re only now bothering to see who they are. Decades after people have forgotten the names of today’s American policy makers and places like Misrati or even Benghazi, our ally (Operation ‘Tomodatchi’ an inspired choice) will still be dealing with the tsunami and Fukushima after effects. Although to hear CNBC, Japan’s not facing catastrophe at all, but a golden opportunity.
Blossoms before in happier times.