The hobby that wasn’t
When my in-laws planned their spring visit to DC, I don’t think they were expecting summer to be here already. We managed to fit a lot into three, very warm, days. One of the highlights was visiting the National Arboretum during its annual Bonsai festival. In addition to their amazing year-round collection of Bonsai (one dating back to 1625!), they had vendors, workshops and special exhibits.
After seeing the collection, I was tempted to pick up Bonsai training. That is, until my husband pointed out that I had to choose between a Bonsai hobby and the Foreign Service – they are non-compatible lifestyle choices. Bonsai training isn’t something you just pick up for a few years. In fact, most of the Bonsai in the Arboretum’s collection are older than I am. To have any real street cred, you need to dedicate at least 20 years to one tree. Also, shipping a Bonsai around the world would be problematic. Restrictions on importing agricultural products, sitting in a dark crate for months, exotic bugs and a variety of climates would do in even the hardiest Bonsai. It’s taken a few days, but I’ve resigned myself to a Bonsai-free existence. Looks like the koi pond is also going to have to wait.