In the cherry blossom’s shade

The cherry blossoms decorate the tidal basin in the springtime, sometime in the mid 1970's

The cherry blossoms decorate the tidal basin, sometime in the mid 1970’s

“In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.”Kobayashi Issa

Have you ever noticed how often people share their excitement at a beautiful landmark or stunning view?  Tourists who have never met offer to take photos for each other, handing expensive cameras to total strangers.  Except, as Issa says, there’s no such thing as a stranger when you are enjoying natural beauty or fascinating sights.

I lost count of how many times I visited the Golden Gate Bridge while we lived in northern California, but almost every time I went there, I ended up taking photos for people.  I always enjoyed snapping photos of visitors who were obviously having a great time and delighted by the view.  And people have kindly offered to take photos for Jeff and me everywhere from Spain to Honduras to Canada and many points in between, giving us unique souvenirs to preserve cherished memories.

It’s easy to complain about tourists and crowds, but I love to see travelers discovering places that are familiar to me.  And when I’m traveling, I appreciate the hospitality of locals who take pride in the beauty of their hometowns and countries.  In such circumstances, one can almost believe that a peaceful world is not an impossible dream.

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  1. Jason Preater

    i agree with that. I work on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. There are hundreds of thousands of pilgrims passing through the villages of Galicia every year but each one is doing their own Camino. I never get tired of seeing how people respond to the healing effect of walking.

    • That must be wonderful to see so many people out walking. I know people must get tired of hearing me talk about how much I love my daily walks, but I just can’t imagine that any exercise machine could compare, at least on a psychological level. Thanks for being here!

  2. A thing of beauty is a joy for ‘all’ – boundaries are all within our hearts. Eagerly waiting for our next vacation to visit certain beauty spots of our country.

    • Bindu, I hope you will be posting more lovely photos after you visit! Thanks for being here.

  3. Sheila

    Julia,here’s hoping and praying for a good week for all. I think “who knows what” agreed with Bill, since he was off to our lab to try a half day at 8:00. Must have been the chicken with rice, combined with the prayers! It is so wonderful to share with others, and it is done in so many ways. I witness “check-in” excitement here at the beach, often. It’s the squeals upon arrival, the fellowship on the porches,the laughter; yes, even the fireworks. And then my weekly neighbors are gone. But it starts all over again…. next check-in! I love your blogs,
    Julia, and sharing our worlds. Prayers for all, Sheila

    • Sheila, I too love sharing our worlds. I have always thought how wonderful it would be to have a beach house, and reading your comments are the closest I come to that! I am keeping you and Bill in prayers, and thankful he is doing well! (You too!)

      • Sheila

        Julia, I read the comments about enjoying so much while “it” is here. In reading Lilly Pulitzer’s obituary this morning, she was quoted as saying: “Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight.” I love that!

        • That’s a great quote. I might have to use it here sometime. Thanks for telling me about it!

  4. Hey! Julia, do you know how long the flowers can last? I’m so curious! 🙂

    • Sydney, the flowers are very brief once they are fully open – perhaps a week; less if the rains come. I will be having a post coming up about that topic. As with so much that is beautiful in life, we have to enjoy it while it is here! Thanks for visiting here!

      • Thanks, Julia! Sydney sometime spent a short visit to his friend, Okay, keep us posted the outcome of the flowers, thanks in advance! 🙂

        • Sydney, I hope to go into the city one day this week to check on the trees! I will let you know and maybe even send some photos. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Lynn

    I always enjoy showing somebody new one of my favorite places…. Seeing it through fresh eyes recreates it for me as well.
    On a sillier note, on Dave in my honeymoon we were gone a week and failed to ask one single person to take a photo of the two of us! My honeymoon album has photos of me alone, photos of Dave alone, And plenty of flower photos! Being keenly aware of this funny historical problem, I always offer to take photographs of couples everywhere I go!

    • Hi Lynn, you know I never realized it but Jeff and I do not have any honeymoon photos of us together, either. It’s nice of you to offer to take photos for people. Jeff is the type who NEVER wants to ask anyone, but people often volunteer for us and we have ended up with some very lovely photos that way. Also, one of my most treasured photos is one that was taken by a professional photographer who saw me at the Vietnam War Memorial (commonly known as “the wall”) polishing the spot that is engraved with the name of the officer whose POW/MIA bracelet I wore back in the 70’s. He asked if I would mind him taking a photo, and then took one with my camera. I will probably post it here for Memorial Day, along with the story that goes with it. I really appreciate those people who offer to take photos; I should offer that for people more often. I really enjoy it. Thanks for being here!

  6. merry


    • Thank you, I am so happy you like it!

  7. I hope that impossible dream comes true.

    • So do I, and so do most people in the world – I truly believe that. It may be that all of us connecting online with each other will bring us closer to that dream. Thanks for being here.

  8. Sheila

    Julia, did Pasha take you for your walk today? I know you care so wanted to say,”We made it!” We, being Bill, Salty and me. Eight hours at our lab feels ok. Life is good! Sheila

    • Sheila, YES Pasha and I got our walk today. I am so happy you all did so well today! I think of you often and always say a quick prayer when I do. Life is good, even when it is hard, but it’s wonderful when the sun shines through a bit! Thanks so much for letting me know, it cheered up my night!

  9. Thank you for that beautiful photo and I can completely understand that quote. I really notice that too when we travel. We get so bogged down with upsetting images on the news, it’s easy to forget that the majority of people are good, kind and decent. When we traveled in December to San Diego, I took a big spill in the airport right over my luggage after I tried to quickly change directions, my wheels got caught in a grate and stopped short. Everything in my hands went flying and I fell pretty hard. One lady actually screamed and several people including my hubby rescued me and all my stuff. Very embarrassing to say the least but it was so nice that people were concerned. We are out there!

    • Sometimes it takes a misfortune, large or small, to show us how many good people are out there. When my wallet was stolen by thieves working the subway station in Barcelona (their methods are practiced and lightening-quick) the kindness of the others who were on the train with me reassured me that even when we are “hit” by dishonesty, many others are there to help. Two passengers who spoke barely any English insisted on giving me their day passes to the subway. Despite my attempts to refuse them, they wanted to help so badly that I finally took the passes and saved them as a visible reminder that so many kind and generous people are out there.


  1. The people you meet | Defeat Despair

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