Nature is a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't event. Clear the schedule for a good look.
Perfect timing. This spring's cherry blossoms in Washington peaked at the start of the city's scheduled blossom festival. Such a rare coincidence of human plans and natural events only reaffirms the advice to revel in splendor and beauty – and to at this time of year.
Henry David Thoreau wrote that "I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least, – and it is commonly more than that, – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagement."
Most Americans don't have four hours a day for such sauntering. They are far too busy for even one hour. Far too preoccupied for even a few minutes' spontaneous encounter with sublime beauty, as the winner of this year's Pulitzer Prize for newspaper feature writing made clear.
Coming out of a Washington Metro subway one day, Mr. Weingarten noticed that commuters paid scant attention to a talented street musician. They probably wouldn't even notice Yo-Yo Ma if he were playing on his soulful cello, Weingarten thought. While he couldn't line up the famed cellist for a debut at the Metro, he did interest world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell.