Cherry Blossoms are a sheer delight to see and experience at High Park. Mere words are inadequate to describe this true magnificence, as nature’s radiant flower tapestry is put on display for that mere fraction in time. Laughter resonates in air with cheerful chatter as clicking cameras insatiably strive to capture this annual splendour. I am no exception.
Somei-Yoshino Cherry Trees bloom early in High Park. They were given to Toronto by Japan in 1959. In 2001 (via Sakura Project) the Japanese Embassy donated an additional 34 Cherry trees to High Park. You may find a few more on the CNE grounds, at McMaster University, at York University and the University of Toronto.
The flowers are almost pure white, with a touch of pale pink close to the stem. These blooms lasts less than a week, falling off before the leaves appear. The variety that was developed in the mid to late 19th century (at the end of the Edo period and the beginning of the Meiji period) takes its name from the village of Somei (part of Toshima in Tokyo).
The Cherry blossoms usually symbolize clouds (because of their blooming in abundance and all at once). It is also a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life (which is a Buddhist influence), an embodiment of the concept of “Mono no Aware” (literally “the pathos of things”). The transience of the blossoms, the great beauty and swift death has frequently been linked with mortality.