I was riding the bus home one day this week, and out the window I spied these cherry blossoms. What a happy sight! So when I was in town yesterday, I took a couple of photos, including this one. It seems as if it’s been winter for so long now, and I am more than ready for spring to arrive.
They weren’t the first flowers to appear–some narcissus popped up in the garden a week or so ago–but for me the cherry blossom is the true harbinger of spring. It’s also a flower that brings back happy memories of other springs in other lands. I recall enjoying the cherry blossoms near the Lincoln Memorial when–as a college student in DC–I used to take walks around the monuments with my friends. And I have many fond memories of the cherry blossoms from the time that I lived in Japan. There were many lovely trees were in my neighborhood in Takarazuka, along the ponds that faced the hotel–and in Kyoto, of course, even more lined the temple walks. On my last visit to Japan, a few years ago, I lucked out. My week there just happened to be the week that the cherry blossom trees all burst into bloom along the island of Honshu and I felt as if I were being welcomed back after my long absence.
There are also many cherry blossom trees in Oakland’s Lakeside Park, and during the years that I lived there, I was able to hop down the hill from my apartment in Adams Point and enjoy them as I took walks around Lake Merritt. And even in my childhood, there were some cherry blossoms that I’d see occasionally in my hometown. So they’ve always been there in my life. I didn’t know if I’d see any here in town. I’m glad there are a few for me to enjoy. And soon it really will be spring.
On my bike ride this afternoon, I noticed quite a few cars in the Intermarché parking lot in the nearby village of Lomener. It seemed odd to me because the supermarket is not open on Sundays. I took a quick look at the entrance to verify that it was closed and of course it was. So what was the explanation? It was a lovely–if slightly chilly–winter’s afternoon here on the coast and many people had driven out here from other areas to walk along the coastal path and enjoy the views. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be spending so much time here on the coast, here in a region filled with sparkly white beaches and rocky outcroppings and picturesque ruins. The coast of Plañvour (Ploemeur) is a place that draws weekend visitors for afternoon strolls. In summer, people from other parts of Brittany and other parts of France, as well, descend on the shores for weeks of sunbathing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, and other water sports.
I had begun the weekend by waking up early Saturday and heading out to the beach to watch the sunrise. I brought my camera with me on my walk, and captured some lovely images. At that time of day, standing above the beach halfway between my house and central Lomener, it seemed as if all I had to do was point my camera in the direction of the ocean and I had a wonderful photo. I made my way back to Ar Guerveur, my village, but decided I had a bit more energy, so I continued along the coastal path to the field where the Shetland pony that I met so long ago lives. I said hi to the pony and the two goats with him. Then I walked over to the horse that was standing in the field across from the others. The horse came over to me let me pet him for a while. I headed back home content, and more than ready for breakfast.
Late this afternoon (Sunday), I decided that I had to get out of the house because I had spent all day inside. I got on my bicycle and took a ride east of here, thinking I’d go a little past Lomener. Once I got past the village, I looked for a path that I’d heard of that runs from the beach to the Plañvour town center. After a few false starts, I found it, and ended up following it for a while, exploring a marshy area a little north of there. I didn’t want to head out too far, as it was likely to get cold soon, so I turned around after reaching the pathway that goes under the main road. Then I noticed a small side route, and the sign said ‘Lomener’, so I decided to take this new route. Along the way, I passed through an older village that I had ncver seen before. I detoured a little to follow an old mill road just far enough to be able to say hello to some horses in a small field.
I got back to Lomener, having enjoyed my little adventure. It’s always a pleasure to explore a new road or avenue here, because there are so many old villages and there is so much nature in this area. I decided to extend my voyage a little by taking a longish route home via the coastal path, following the sun, which was by now a big orange ball descending in the west. As I was looking out over a field facing the lighthouse, I caught my last glimpse of the sun as it sank behind a mass of clouds. I hopped back on my bicycle, made my way back to the main road, and stopped in at the bakery in Kerroc’h to pick up some fresh bread and a cookie. I pedaled home the last few yards in the chill evening air, happy to have had two lovely moments this weekend enjoying the sun, nature, and the coast.
I saw the full moon rise tonight behind my house. It was a large, stunning yellow ball. I ran in and got my camera so I could share it with you.
Yesterday’s moonrise over Kemper–which I saw as I was heading home from my internship–was gorgeous as well. (No camera with me then.) I started to write a haiku about that one, as it was so lovely in the context of that elegant city of rivers and architectural riches. Once I polish it, I might share it with you all, depending upon how it turns out.