I appear to have got distracted from my planned next post! I fully intended to write to you a little bit about my trip to Orlando…and then I kept seeing photos popping up on my social media of all the sakura (cherry blossom) in Japan right now and I felt I wanted to write on that instead. Pinky promise that some posts on my vacation will be coming up real soon though.
I love all the seasons for different reasons. They are part of the cycle of life for me, they remind me how things start and end, how the world keeps turning and that life goes on regardless. Winter is a time of snuggling, crisp days and woolly hats. Autumn is full of glorious colours and piles of leaves made for kicking. Even hot uncomfortable summer (assuming we get one in the UK that is!) when I can’t sleep or go outside because it is too sunny has bluer than blue skies and house martins sweeping overhead Spring though holds an extra special spot for me and every single year I am reminded how much I love it.
This time of year is when that part of nature that has been having a jolly nice winter snooze wakes itself up and everything springs back into life (pun intended!). Seeing all the crocuses, tulips and daffodils makes me smile and feel all sorts of happiness inside. There is such joy in them. Buds appearing on the trees and bushes delight me more than the leaves that will take their place. There is an energy that I feel at this time of year that lifts me up and makes me happy to be alive in a way that no other season really does.
Cherry blossom sparks off all these happy feels big time and I love seeing the trees erupting in that all too brief moment of fragile beauty. It is a stunning sight wherever it happens in the world yet nowhere seems to take it quite to heart in the way the Japanese do. Sakura (the Japanese word for cherry blossom) seems to be something all Japanese love and I have been lucky to experience cherry blossom season there several times giving me a huge appreciation of how important it is to them. People stop to admire the blooms wherever they appear. Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties spring up in parks, by canals and in graveyards. Social media is full of snaps of cherry blossoms and shops or restaurants awash with sakura themed items. It seems to take over daily life from the eagerly awaited first sightings of blossom until the final bloom has died.
The Japanese love for cherry blossom runs much deeper though than it simply being something pretty to look at and it is something that really rings true for me. They value cherry blossom not simply for its simple beauty or for the festivities that accompany it, they also find a message in its short yet brilliant existence. It is a reminder that life is brief and fleeting. Life slips by so very quickly without people really noticing or accepting that one day death will come for them and cherry blossom reminds us that life is short, amazing, precious and something that we need to enjoy, take note of and be thankful for. Life is for living and for me, spring serves as the perfect reminder for this. So next time you see some blossom, take a moment to consider our fragile yet awesome existence.