Spring is Springing: A Photo Album
Here's something I haven't told you about me yet: in a past lifetime, I was a florist.
I mean, it's probably not that surprising to you, is it? An artist is an artist wherever she chooses to create. ... So you can probably imagine how much I absolutely love flowers. I love the abundance of flower shops here, the fact that people gift flowers so often, the holidays that consistently involve flowers. Flowers are a powerful act of care to me.
But these days, I've been really leaning into the springtime flowers popping up everywhere. The same way I have a soft spot for Texas bluebonnets, Lithuania's wildflowers and garden flowers are beginning to emerge from the dirt after months of winter.
We're finally here.
I've genuinely been waiting for these flowers for months.
On Friday, I took myself on a date to visit Sakurų Parkas (Sakura Park) right along the Neris River near the city center. One of my Lithuanian friends told me that once I visited, I'd officially be an honorary Lithuanian, given that so many people here fall all over themselves to take selfies with the cherry blossoms. (I probably have a bit more work to do to actually become an honorary Lithuanian, but I digress!)
But my visit there was two-fold: of course, I'm obsessed with flowers, I love the way pink flowers look in bouquets and reach into my soul, and I could go on, but...
These cherry blossom trees were planted in 2001 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Chiune Sugihara's birth, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania who risked his own life in1940 to provide emergency visas to 6,000 Jewish war refugees. (They weren't safe here by any measure of the word - we'll put it that way.) In his own words, "They were human beings and they needed help. I'm glad I found the strength to make the decision to give it to them."
With all due respect, I'm grateful that Lithuanians get their annual cherry blossom selfies (same, girl!), but I'm even more proud of what they represent. Truly, the word at the center of my thoughts here is gratitude. And I'll be honest: visiting these cherry blossoms in his honor only made me want to visit the Sugihara House in Kaunas even more than I already did - so I guess that's happening soon.
In the meantime, I'd like to share some photos I took of all of the flowers I've been swooning over, including the gorgeous cherry blossoms.
I hope you enjoy them!
This was my first experience getting to see cherry blossoms up close and personal.
Until next time, viso gero!