Jennifer Pemberton spends this time of year watching the forecast closely, not worried about snow or sun or even the particulate count in wheezy Cache Valley. She's on Blossom Watch, checking the National Parks Service webcam on the National Mall in Washington to see if the cherry blossoms on their way, which will mean it's time for hanami.
Hanami is the custom in Japan of viewing and enjoying the blossoms. Hanami is part spring break -- enjoying being out of school, enjoying the first warm evenings of spring. Hanami can mean a picnic under the clouds of cherry blossoms. There can be wine in the middle of the day and the party can last well into the night. But hanami can also mean a quiet place under a pink sky. It can mean a focused meditation on the fleeting nature of life.