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Saturday, March 19, 2016: Spring is here

At 9:30 pm PDT in the midst of Dances of Universal Peace, Amir’s cell phone alarm heralded the arrival of spring. We stopped and hugged, because it also marks Nawruz, the New Year celebrated by the Persians, Kurds, Baha’is, Zoroastrians and others.

These spiritual dances were a wonderful way to bring in the new season. With beautiful melodies and simple movements that even I can do, I love attending these events. There’s another one Sunday evening at 7 at Presentation House in North Vancouver. The common denominator in both events is Alloudin (at left in the photo below), who is helping lead them.

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The Vernal or Spring Equinox refers to a day at this time of year when daytime and nighttime are of approximately equal duration. We’ve been in spring mode in Vancouver for several weeks. The Cherry Blossom Festival that starts March 24 is hoping that at least some of the 50 varieties of flowering cherry trees here will still be in bloom.

My favourite memory of cherry blossoms was one spring in Kyoto, Japan, when the fallen petals formed piles like snow drifts that I could run through and kick into the air.

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After Shabbat morning services, I invited my rabbi, Hannah, and her husband Ross to visit me at Vancouver Cohousing. They were amazed at the mountain view when they entered. The last few days I’ve taken advantage of the clear skies to capture some images.

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The Lions taken with a telephoto lens set at 280 mm. The Lions refer to what looks like mountain lion ears.

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Taken at 130 mm.

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With no telephoto.