CHICAGO - The cherry blossoms on the South Side, near the Museum of Science and Industry, have become quite the attraction.
The flowering trees beckon winter-weary Chicagoans to Jackson Park to frolic, gaze and pose for pictures.
A walking group from Chinatown steered their steps toward the trees. Christine Leong of Chicago said her walking group had to stop exercising together because of coronavirus. But with conditions improving, they learned on social media about the cherry blossoms.
She and her friends made it part of their walk outdoors.
"We have a WeChat group and we see our friends came, so we decided to come. I have the day off so I was able to come with them," said Leong.
It’s the first time the 160 trees have reached a full bloom since they were planted in 2013 around the Museum of Science and Industry’s Columbian basin.Similar to their more famous counterparts, the cherry blossoms that ring the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C.
Those trees were Japan’s gift to the United States, inspiring festivals, poetry and song.
Brian Weber, who visited with his 1-year old daughter, said, "It's great. I’ve seen them in Japan, and D.C. I didn't know we had them we have them too." Weber was taking pictures of his daughter and added, "Not only are the blooms are fleeting, the smiles and the moods are fleeting, too. If all those things come together, maybe we can get one good picture."
Everyone knows the blossoms don’t last long. The petals are falling from the trees now, like a gentle snowfall, which also makes them special.
The cherry blossoms herald the season of renewal, rebirth.These pale pinks can treat the quarantine blues.
Staci Robinson visited multiple times, "It gives you a chance to get out, be safe and see something beautiful."
Japanese cherry blossoms symbolize friendship that grows and eventually yields beauty, even in the harshest times.