My favorite Sakura tree lives in the park across the street. It stands with five trunks spread wide over a winding little creek. It happens to be smack dab between the Rose Cafe with our favorite rose ice cream and the pond where we find toad eggs each spring and watch them turn into tadpoles. We come in every season; it is right across the street.
There is such a softness to Sakura time. A sweetness. The plum blossoms prepare you for the excitement and you can see the buds gradually filling on the trees. The Sakura prediction map even tells you the date they’ll be coming to your town. But when they suddenly burst open after a warm, sunny day, it is still a surprise, like the pop of fish eggs on your tongue.
It’s fleeting, of course. It’s been a windy spring and I watch the weather report, fearful that rain and wind will steal the blossom days. In that way it’s like autumn in New England–nature’s plans are bigger than our dreams of picnics and frolics.
And isn’t that the sweet meaning behind this time of celebration? The knowledge that we are, as living creatures, vulnerable to the winds of change. I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly, all about the power of embracing vulnerability to build resilience to the shame so many of us carry within. So I’m keyed into all the places that vulnerability sweetens life’s stakes. As we prepare for a family transition of moving and embrace our last Sakura time (for now), I feel it even more deeply.
Children, cherry blossoms, families . . . as Miel told me today: “Mom, you know every living thing goes through a process of change.”
Indeed. To live and love today is the best we can do.