Early hanami (花見)

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Cycled down to Minatoyama park for an early hanami in the melodic sunshine. The cherry blossoms are just starting to open. Sun is warm on my neck, a cool breeze brushes my right arm. Pigeons strut and coo, cars judder by, and children laugh on the rocks by the pond. My tea reflects the sunlight, forming a golden peach in the teacup. I think of Momotaro, the peach boy.

An old couple hold hands as they stroll. Girl wearing a kaze-mask puts on another mask – it looks like a white cat with red stripes – and takes selfies. A female pigeon plays hard-to-get, the chasing male puffing out his jewelled, emerald chest. He courts her, singing his love.

Elaborate patterns in the bark of an old tree trunk. Smooth, fast, gliding shadows of a flock of birds stroke the ground. I finish my tea.

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