I got out of the house by 7:30 this morning because I knew the dusting of snow would not last long, and I wanted to enjoy the combination of blossoms and snow making every thing vibrate with beauty. I was not disappointed. The sun started to come out just after I had fully circumnavigated the Capitol. By the time I got to Lafayette Square, the snow was all melted, but the blossoms sparkled even more. It was such a glorious walk through the neighborhood, I was quite ecstatic, and at one point, I thought perhaps I was hallucinating when I first crested the Capitol grounds around 8am; from loudspeakers on the Mall (presumably there for Cherry Blossom Festival events), someone was blaring the Clash, singing “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
Could I really have been hearing the Clash being broadcast on the National Mall at 8am on a Sunday morning? I remembered thinking we were making a statement when we blared the Sex Pistols as we drove across the 14th Street bridge towards the Capitol on July 4rh in the mid-80s. I remembered how disappointed my friends and I were when Joey Strummer disappeared the year I was living in London, and we didn’t get to see the Clash in Brixton. I allowed the flood of memories to rush in and then fade with the music. I thought of all the years I have been walking around this city, and how many times it has snowed while the blossoms are in bloom–more frequent than one might think.
I watched the melting snow start to glitter in the sun and the blossoms vibrating with their ephemeral beauty. And then I walked on through downtown, past the White House, and up to Dupont Circle, stopping to buy apples and mushrooms at the Dupont Fresh Farm Market before attending meeting for worship at Friends Meeting of Washington.