The cherry blossom snow globe arrived last Thursday. Outside it’s the beginnings of what I hope will be a mild winter. But inside its magical sphere, two wands of blossoms flank a petal-strewn footbridge nestled on green earth in an eternal spring, for it can never be winter in the heart as long as there are cherry blossoms in the world or in the imagination.
I like to think of the cherry blossom snow globe as the object equivalent of the last plane out of Saigon. I had purchased it at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Dec. 27 and had it mailed home as I was going to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that evening to see “Miss Saigon” and didn’t want to take a chance that it would break there or on the train back.
So I watched the woman at the register take my address and stamp it. I wondered when I might see it again. I figured that mailing the snow globe might be one of the last things the workers there would do and that I would be one of the last visitors before the full effects of the government shutdown could be felt. As it turned out, I was right and, when it did arrive, just five days after I came home, I opened it with both a delicious sense of anticipation and a certain ruefulness.
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