Tucked into the heart of a cherry tree, Algy gazed at the beautiful white blossoms as he listened to the birds singing all around him. He was reminded of a haiku by Issa:

peace to the world
from time immemorial…
cherry blossoms

.天下泰平とうに咲桜哉
tenka taihei tô ni saku sakura kana

Algy hopes you will all have a very happy and peaceful weekend 🙂

[Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa, in a translation by David G. Lanoue.]

The air was still very chilly, but the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the wind had dropped for a while at least. Algy could feel that it was growing gradually warmer, and although the hillsides still looked dead and brown, his assistants’ garden had burst into flower, and new leaves were emerging on some of the trees and bushes.

Algy flew into the heart of a cherry tree and buried his beak happily in the blossom, listening to the voices of all the new birds who had just arrived from much warmer countries to spend the summer months on the west coast of Scotland. For two weeks now Algy had been worrying about the cuckoos, who should have been calling all around him since the third week in April, but who had been sadly absent. Then suddenly he heard that familiar sound, somewhere away in the hills: cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo… Algy smiled a big fluffy smile: it was truly spring at last 🙂

Something miraculous had occurred in Algy’s assistants’ garden. It happened once a year – and only once – and each time it delighted Algy as though it had never happened before. He perched among the blossoms and watched the bumblebees buzzing around each flower, while the newly arrived warblers flitted about among the branches of the other trees which had not even got their spring leaves yet. As Algy buried his beak in the beautiful white blossoms, he remembered a haiku by Issa:

the cure for
this raucous world…
late cherry blossoms

.騒がしき世をし祓つて遅桜
sawagashiki yo wo oshi haratte oso-zakura

[Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa in a translation by David G. Lanoue.]